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; • » 

X • 







1812 AND 1813. 


&c &C. 







1 8 OCT 1961 

A. Stnban, 


T OIFEIl this narrative of my travels in Greece with much diffi-^ 
dcLce to the PabUc, apprehensive that it may be thought that G^reece 
has iready heea sufficiently explored by former writers. The Public 
has fecently received valuable information from the works of Mr. 
Doiglas and Mr. Hobhouse, respecting the character of the modem 
Grcdks. I have carefully avoided the repetition of what they have 
told and have refrained from all formal dissertation on the sub- 


ject of which they have treated ; but I have interwoven with my 
narative various anecdotes and observations, which will, I hope; 
fbrtoer fllustriDte the subject, and add some information' Relative to the 

• • ■ • 

pi^eent state of literature and cultivation in Greece. 

lad I been previously aware that Major Leake intended to pub- 
lislhis ^* Researches in Greece/' I should scarcely have had courage 
to toittmence my own work ; but having begun the narrative, I was 
ledto pers<^ere, from the consideration that it related principally to 
pats of that country as yet little known^ or described. I think it 
fotunace that I had directed my views more particularly to' suth 


districts, though they may not have so many claims as othes on the 
attention of the classical reader. The interest which the wcrld now 
takes in Greece, refers not merely to ancient times, but regards also 
the future condition of a people who are agaib resuming a lational 
character, and whom time and political changes may again :aise to 
perfect independence. 

I shall conduct the reader through the Ionian Isles, Abania 
Thessaly, and some parts of Macedonia, sketching afterwards more 
rapidly my route through, the southern part? of Greece, and Inatly 
describing the second journey I made through the dominions if Ali 
Pasha* I have dwelt particularly on the government and e&raor- 
dinary character of this modem ruler of Albania, with which i had 
peculiar opportunities of becoming acquainted. 

While I have selected for description those parts of Greece wiich 
are least generally Hnown, I have endeavoured to convey a full dea 
of the scenery of the country, and of whatever remains of antiqiity 
are scattered over its surface. I might further havie enlarged onthe 
subject of these antiquities, by citing additional authorities, and qujt. 
ing discordant opinions, but I have forborne such discussions, aMare 
that they can have little interest for the generality of readers. U^n 
the most correct information that I could collect I have ^venthe 
population of the country} and, considering that the mineralogy md 
other parts of the natural history of Greece axe yet only partiily 
known, I have been anxious to obtain an^ to communicate infona* 
ation on these subjects. The results w:hich I have presented mayat 
least assist in giving a useful direction to future observations. 


I had intended to have inserted in the Appendix a memoir on the 
principal diseases, and on the state of medicine in Greece ; but this 
may be placed more properly in some publication better adapted to 
the circulation of medical facts. ^ 

A preface filled with apologies is an acknowledgment of fitults, 
which a man coolly determines to commit I shall not, therelbre, 
attempt to excuse the want of a good map, by pleading the loss of 
my actual surveys, and of a considerable part of my journal. What- 
ever I have left untold will soon come before the Public from more 
fortunate, and more enlightened travellers than myself. From the 
hands of Major L6ake, and Sir W. Gell, maps may be expected far 
superior to any thing which I could have offered, had my papers 
been preserved. 

I shall detain the reader no longer than to assure him, that among 
the many deficiencies he must find in the following pages, he will 
have no just cause to accuse the author of want of fidelity. 

3itft of October, 1814.^ 

< • 

J « « • 

/ » 

♦ • ' ' 

» • 

* ^ 



I3ORTUOAL: Rfludenoe in the Amy Hospitals.— Gibraltar.— Sardii^ 

Tbelipari Ides. — Etna.— Voyage to the Ionian Isles. — Zante: Descriptibnof thia 
Uand: The CS^ irf* Zante : Natural Histmy and Commerce of the Isle : I^ipdation ai^ 
Ibbki of Society • . . • ^ Page i 


Modem History of the Ionian Isles. -^ Greek Vewspapers. — Garrison at Zante. — - 
Cqihalonia : Description of the Island. — Argostoli : Antiquities : Population and 
State of Society. — Isle oT Cerigo ........ 2^ 

CHAP. m. 

Departure for Albania. — SSrooco Wind. — Ithaca: Modem State of this Island.— 
VathL — Santa Maura : Island and Town : Cpnimerce and Antiquities . . 4; 


Passage to Prevesa. — Histoiy of Prevesa.-^Albanians.—-Tur)DB.— 7 Seraglio of Ali 
PaduL : — Ruins of Mcopolis. •* Battle of Actium. ^* Passage .up the Gulph of Arta. r-* 
Salaora. — Albanian Dance. -* Plains of Arta 6^ 


Arta. —> Commerce of die Oulph.-^ Route to Cinque Poazi. ~- Mineralogical Remarks. «-» 
iOum of Qnque Poza. — Tribe of Migratory Shepherds. — Approach to loannina; 
and View of the Gij >«^. «'.>.•. .82 


Albania. -— General outliae of this Country. — Origin and Divisions of the Albanian' 
Tribes. — Their General History. — Sketch of the life and Progressof Ali Pasha. — • 
Extent of his' DomiSnion; Military Power, and Revenues 97 




Great Seraglio of Ali Pasha. — First Interview with the Vizier. -— Conversation. — 
Description of loannina. — Bazars. — Pavilion of the Vizier. — Mosques. — Population 
of the City. — Turkish and Greek Women. — Climate. -^ Lake of loannina. — History 
of the City. — Ruins in its Vicimty. — ObseiVations on the Site of the Oracle of Dodona 

Page I 20 


Greek Population of loannina. — Their Commercial Habits. — Literature. — Academies of 
the City. — Condition of Society. — Greek Ladies. — Manner of Living, and Domestic 
Economy. — Literary Characters of loannina. — Phjrsicians. ^- Person and Dress of 

the Greeks. -» Romaic Language . ' 148 

( - . • I • • 


Ifedical fMendanee upon Ali Pasha. -^ General Iitt^foourse, and Style of Cohvenation 
with him. — Further AQecdotes of his Character and Habits. -7- His.judidal Character. 
•— The Haram. — The Feeling towards him from different Classes of his Subjects. — 
Medical attendance upon some of his Turkish Officers • . . . 175 

« • . 

CHAP. X. • 

Preparations for a Journey into Thessaly. — Buyrouldi.^—- Tartars.— -Travelling in 
Turkey. — Departure from loannina. — Khan of Kyra. — Valley of the River of Arta. 
— District of Zagora. — Metzovo. — Mineralogical Remarks. — Ascent of the Ridge of 
Pindus. — View from the Summit. — Geography of the Pindus Chain . • 200 


Descent from Pindus. — Progress along the Valley of the Salympria. — Kalabaka. — Rocks 
and Monasteries of Meteora. — Ascent to one of the Monasteries in a Net — Antiquity 
of these Rdcks.—* Their Mineralogical Characters. -— Trikala. -— Zarko. — Arrival at 
Larissa • • • ; 227 

• • • • ■ • 


Residence at Larissa. ^— The Archbishop Polycarp. — Interview with VeH Pasha. — His 
Character and History. — Excursion over the Plains to Tomavo. < — Manu&ctures of 
Tomavo. — Description of Larissa.' — General Character of Turkish Towbs. — Turkish 
Inhabitants of Larissa ^ ^ ^ • .. . 256 


Greek Metropolitan Church* *-^ Political Sentiments of the Greeks. — Character and Attain- 
ments of Velara. — Another Interview with Veli Pasha., — Remarks on the Plains 
round Larissa, and on the Population of Thessaly • • , . • .271 


CHAP. xrsr. 

Departare fiN>]n Lariflsa. -^ AmpUlochi&i — Vale of Tempe. --r Shanes of the Archipe- 
lago. — Platomana. — Mount Olympus. — Katrina. — Field of Batde at Pydna. — 
Leuterochori. — Passage over the Oulph to Salopica . • • Page 283 


Salonica. — English Consul here. — History and description of the city. — Mosques of 
Sta. Sophia and St Demetrius. — Antiquities of Salonica. — Population and Character 
of Society. — German Residents. — Commerce of the Place. — Sketch of the Overland 
Trade to Germany. -— Ishmad Bey of Seres ji i 


Departure from Salonica by Sea to Zeitun. — Protracted and dangerous Voyage.— 
Isles of Chilidromi and Sarakino. — Pirates of the Archipelaffo. — Skopelos.-:- 
Skiathos. — Trikeri. — Gulph ot Yolo. — Country round the Skirts of Mount Pelion. 
— Passage up the Gulph of Zeitun. — View of Thermopylae . . . 333 


I^tdida. — Zeitun. —* Journey through the Southern Part of Thessaly to Larissa. — Pass 
of Thomoko. — Field of Pharsalia. — Arrival at Larissa. — Interview with Veli Pasha. 
— Return to Zeitun. — Dangerous Passage over the Chain of Othrys • 35^ 


Trom Zeitun to the Pass of Thermopylae. — Description of the Pass, in reference to its 
Andeht Historyl — Ascent to the Chain of CEta. — Leuterochori. — Valley of the 
Cephissns. — Passage over the Chain of Mountains to Salona — View fit>m the Sum- 
mit — Mineralogical Remarks. * • ' 374 

• *-' ♦ .. • 


Journey through the Ancient Phods, Bceotia, and Attica to Athens. -— Delphi. — 
Triodon. — Cheroncea. — Livadia. — Helicon. — Marsh of Copais. — Thebes. — Ruins 
of Thespia. — Fields of Leuctra, and Platea. — Chain of Cithoeron. — Via Sacra. — 
Athens . , .'•••.•... 391 


Athens. — General Character of the Place. — Its Memorials of Antiquity. — Scenery 
around the City. — Climate. — Character of the Population. — Marathon. — 
Pentelicus. — Mineralogical Remarks. — Departure for the Peloponnesus. — Eleusis. — 
Mefpra. — Corinth. — Nemea^ — Mycenae. — Argos. — Tripolitza. — Calavrita. — 
Patras. — Passage to Zante 408 



Bepartare on a second Voyage into Albama>>— Landing at PreveM. — Intervieir with 
Ali Pafiba. — NarratiTe of an Esciiraibn to. tberi^per part of the Gulph of Arta. — 
Ali Pasha among the Ruins of MikxypoUs.-^ Departure for loaanina by the. Route of 
SulL — Luro. — Ejitrance among the Suli Mountains. — Seraglio of Suli. — War of 
Ali Pasha with the Suliotes • - • - Page 435 


• * 

Departure from Suli. — Ai»*61yky. — Parumtfafai. ^- SoUopia. — Journey down the 
River Kalama. — €k>ulias. — Ruins at Palilia-Veneda. — Return to Paramithia, — Route 
to loannina. — Ruins near Dramasus. — Residence at loannina « • 455 


Departure from loannina for the North of Albania. — Zitza. — Falls of Glissani. — 
Monastery of Sosino. — Lake of Zerovina. — - DelvinakL — Great Valley of the Dero- 
pulL — LibochoYO. — Argyro-Kastro. — Gardiki. — Massacre of the Oaidikiotes. — 
Route to TqpelenL — Riyer Viosa. — « Tepeleni, — Yusuf Aga. — Dinner from the 
Haram. .... 475 


D^MUture from TqpelenL — LopesL — Lunetzi. — Carbonara. — Ruins at Gradista. — 
Latin Inscription. — Loss of Papers. •— Monastery of PoUina. — Ruins of Apollonia. — • 
Aylona. — Acrocenumian Mountains. — Pitch Mines of Sdenitza.—- Ancient Qrade 
of NymphsBum. — Return to TepelenL — Journey to loannina • • . .501 


Residence at loannina. —* Interviews with Ali Pasha. — DqMurtnrefor Prevesa and 
Zante. — Conclusion • • • S26 


iMbp to &ce the Title Page. 

loannina from the. North, fiicing page 95 

Mosque of the fortress of loannina • • • • . * • . 130 

Metzovo • • • • • • • . 212 

Vale of the Peneus, from Meteora •••••».• 235 

Monastery of Meteora. Thessaly • ••••••• 239 

Mount Ossa, from the Banks of the Peneusi at Larissa .... 284 

Tempe • • * 291 

Suli Mountains from AiarGIyky 447 

Sera^^ of Snii .«•••• 451 

Castle a[ Aigyro-Kastro 488 

Serag^o of Tepeleni • • • • • • 496 

Doric Cdumn of ApoQonia • « • • ' « 513 







T QUITTED England early in the spring of 1812, having the 
-*^ geneiul design of visiting the Mediterranean ; but with the pre- 
vious object of passing a few months in the military hospitals of 
our army in the Peninsula. With tiiis plan I disembarked at 
Lisbon; and after a short tour along those wonderful lines of 
fortification, within which, it might be said, that the germ of 
European liberty was at one time enclosed; I proceeded up the 
Tagus to Santajrem, at this period of the war one of our principal 
hospital establishments in Portugal : the fine situation of tlic town, 
its numerous convents, and the facilities of communication by the 
Tagus, were among the chief circumstances which led to the selec- 
tion of this station. The capture of Badajos had recently taken 
place; and when I arrived here, the hospitals were crowded with 
the wounded and sick lately sent down from the army. At one 
period of my residence in Santarem, the number amounted to nearly 
two thousand ; who were distributed among five large convents, in 
the higher part of the city. Many of these men, however, were 
already invalided, and waiting only for conveyance to England. 



To detail the medical observations I made during my stay here, 
would be foreign to the subject of this volume; and the less 
needful, as we may expect from some of the medical men, who 
have long served in the Peninsula, an ample account of their 
extensive and various practice. I cannot refrain, however, from 
' noticing, what must interest every reader ; the singular excellence 
which the hospital system of the army had at this time attained. 
I have visited many hospitals in England, Ireland, and Scotland ; 
but have seen few that might compare in convenience, propriety, and 
good management, with those I attended while at Santarem ; none, 
certainly, which procured more positive comfort to the sick, or were 
more successful in the medical practice they afforded. It is true 
that the convents of this city were admirably adapted to this pur- 
pose ; but the regulation of the establishments depended on the zeal 
of the medical officers ; and the excellence of this regulation, was 
as creditable to them, as it was beneficial to the army and the 
country. * 

All that can lessen the afflictions of war must be grateful to 
the mind ; and it is among the noblest features in the character 
of the General' to -whom England and Europe are so deeply in- 
debted, that his career of victory was one also of humanity ; and 
that the life of the soldier was not wantonly thrown away, either 
in battle or by succeeding neglect. That this is not an empty 
tribute of praise, will be felt by all who knew the active super- 
intendance which the Duke of Wellington exercised in every depart- 
ment of his army ; and in particular the attention he gave to its 
hospital establishments. He was ably seconded in this by the 
Inspector-general, Dr. Macgregor, who - maintained a system of 
minute regularity, doubtless contributing much to the welfare of this 
branch of the service. 

From Santarem I made an excursion to Caldas, the most 


celebrated watering-place in Portugal. The great spring here is a 

■ I I I I 1 1 - — - — I — - ■ - - — -^ — ■ , ■ 

* At this time Dr. Buchan was at the head of the hospital establishment at Santarem. 


sulphureous^ saline clialybeate ; and thermal al&o, having a tern-- 
perature of 93* or 94% where it issues from the ground*. I 
visited the Portuguese hospital at this place ; but found it on a 
small scale, and at this time very indifferently conducted. 

Leaving Santarem, I proceeded further up the country to 
Abrantes, another of the chief hospital stations of the army ; where 
I resided some time with similar views. The number of cases of 
fever, and acute diseases, I found to be much greater here than 
at Santarem ; add the medical practice was proportionally more 
interesting and instructive. The effects of the climate, and of par^ 
ticular localities, in producing and modifying the progress of 
disease, were among the more remarkable circumstances which 
occurred to my notice in this as well as in the former place. 
The principal hospital at Abrantes was not actually in the city, but 
formed a large and picturesque encampment on the southern bank 
of the Tagus, shaded behind by the extensive oUve^groves which 
border on^the river. - The internal regulation, amidst this assem<* 
blage of tents, was not inferior to that in the great convent at 
Santarem. -f- 

I subsequently visited, but in a more cursory way, two or three 
smaller hospitals at Niza, and other places on the frontie^Fof Spain. 
Having fulfilled at length the medical purposes I had in view, I 
returned down the country to Lisbon, to prosecute my voyage 
thence towards the Mediterranean. 

A stormy passage of a week brought me to Gibraltar. Two 
days of this time our vessel was in the Bay of Cadiz, and each 

• The analysis of this water, which was made by Dr. Withering, gives three-fcurths of 
a grain of silica in 128 ounces; in this respect aflbrding an analogy to the Bath spriBgs, 
as well as to those of Carlsbad and Brighton : the same quantity of water yields 6^o& 
measures of sulphureted hydrogen, i\ grains of iron, 148 grains of muziate of soda, and 
other salts in smaller quantiQr. 

t The hospitals I afterwards saw at Vittoria and Bilbao, on my return to E ngland 
through Spain, though established in the midst of a rapid campaign, yet bore testimcmy 
to the sftme active spirit of order and good regulation. 

B 2 


morning and evening I listened tx) the heavy sound of the shells, 
which the French mortars were throwing into the city, from a dis- 
tance of more than three miles. It was their last effort as a 
besieging army ; information of the battle of Salamanca had just 
reached them, and but a few days elapsed before they made their 
final retreat from the south of Spain. 

The scenery of the straits of Gibraltar has scarcely had sufficient 
justice done it in description. Europe and Africa vie with each 
other, in the magnificence of the boundary they give to this ex- 
traordinary passage from an ocean to inland seas. The effect of 
natural grandeur is aided by various impressions, which accompany 
the voyager in his progress between their shores. They are viewed 
as the entrance to the scene of antient empire, and as a barrier at 
•the same time, which stopped the progress of ancient 'power. The 
changes of men and nations are suggested in rapid succession to 
the mind, as vessels are seen urging their way through this channel, 
which come from the people of a new world; from islands and 
continents scarcely known even to the imagination of antiquity. 
Every point on the surrounding shores gives the note of some event, 
which is consecrated to history ; and the names of St. Vincent, Trafal- 
gar, Tariffa, Algeziras, and Gibraltar, are among those which our 
own annals will* convey to succeedin'g times. 

At Gibraltar I remained but long enough to survey that marvel- 
lous machinery of fortification, which, together with the natural 
features of the spot, renders it one of the most remarkable places in 
the world. I again embarked thence in a vessel bound to Sicily ; 
landed for a short time amidst the lofty mountains which form the 
coast of Murcia*; touched at Majorca, and passed two days at 
Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. It had been my design, when 
leaving England, to spend some time in this island, hitherto almost 

* Many of the mountains here are composed of chlorite slate, witb a very contorted 
stratification. The circumference of the Peninsula is almost every where mountainous, 
■opporting that great tract o^ table land, which forms the central provinces of Spain; 
with an elevation of firom 1600 to 2000 feet above the sea. 


a terra incognita to the rest of Europe ; but I was prevented from 
executing this plan by various circumstances, which it would be 
needless to detail. To the mineralogist Sardinia offers many objects 
of much interest; many also to the lovers of nature, in the great 
mountain scenery which is spread over its surface. It is a fact not 
generally known, that the southern portion of the island is in part 
a volcanic region, and that obsidian, pumice, and oompact lavas 
exist in great abundance in the district of the Capo de Sassari. The 
speci miens in the Museum at Cagliari sufficiently attest this fact; 
and fiirther shew the existence of much primitive country in the 
island, of various metallic ores, and of a formation of coal. In the 
subjoined note* are a few details, as well on this subject, as in 

* Sardinia is divided into three provinces : the Capo de Sassari in the north ; the 
Lugo d'Oro traversing the middle of the island ; and the Capo de Cagliari forming its 
southern portion. The first of these is mountainous throughout the greater part of its 
extent ; and Ginargentino, though not yet measured, is considered one of the highest points 
in the island. The volcanic country is chiefly at the north-west angle of Sardinia ; and 
Oruno^ and other villages near Sassari, are said to be entirely built of pumice rock. The 
Chevalier Prunner, of the Museum at Cagliari, has written a memoir on the extinct vol- 
canoes of the island, and speaks of seventy-two craters; but whether he is accurate in 
distinguishing them, I am unable to say. • The general fact, however, is interesting, as 
it extends the great volcanic area of the south of Europe, which comprizes in its circuit, 
Etna, Vesuvius, Sardinia, Pentelaria, and the never-ceasing fires of the Lipari Isles. 

The Lugo d'Oro is also very mountainous : silver and lead ores have been found here, 
it is said, in considerable quantity. I saw an analysis of one silver ore^ which gave 70 per 
cent, of the metal ; but this was probably a select specimen. The King of Sardinia was 
lately led to believe, partly perhaps firom the name of this district, that he had gold mines 
in his island territory ; but analysis has put a dead blank opposite the word, in the 
q)eciniens brought for examination. The Cavaliere StReale, who conducted these 
analyses, is a man of much science and observation. 

Tlie Capo de Cagliari, though for the most part very mountainous, yet contains exten- 
sive plains, stretching between Cagliari and Oristano. A considerable part of this district 
appears to be of primitive formation. The mountain of Argentu, about forty miles to the 
north of Cagliari, is perhaps the loftiest in the island ; and, as it is said to have snow upon 
it all the year, may be from 6 to 7000 feet in height. 

The pitch coal, of which 1 saw specimens, is said to occur in the centre of the isle^ but 
not in large quantity. Among the other Sardinian specimens in the Museum (the collets 

jQ SiaLY. 

relation to the internal state of the country. Sardinia has been 
secluded, not only from the observation, but in great part from the 
progressive improvement of the rest of Europe; and the traveller 
will find in its peasantry a wildness of garb, manner, and custom, 
which can scarcely be classed with the usages of civilized life. The 
miniature court of the King, which was then resident in Cagliari, 
had not sufficient power to collect all the revenues of the country, 
still less to change or ameliorate the condition of the people. The 
recent political events have done nothing for Sardinia; and an 
island, equal to Sicily in extent, still remains a solitary spot on the 
face of Europe ; its most frequent visitors the pirates of the Barbary 

I landed in Sicily at Trapani, the antient Drepanum ; a spot that 
has been consecrated to posterity by the genius of Virgil. Thence I 
travelled to Palermo, the splendid and luxurious capital of the 
island ; a city almost unequalled in the beauty of its situation, but 
peopled by a nobihty degraded in morals, and by inferior classes 

lion of which, however, was extremely defective), I found varieties of granite, sienite^ 
primitive slate, marble, limestone with shells, bituminous wood, lead, copper, and silver 
ores, arsenical pyrites; with very^fine amathysts, opals, schorls, &c. 

Hie present population of Sardinia is about 450,000: in 1750 it did not exceed 
360,000 : but it is still capable of gi'eat increase. The island was once spoken of as one 
of the granaries of Rome (Cic. pro. leg. Manil.) : now the Sardinia ferax can scarcely 
provide subsistence for its own population. Cagliari, the capital, splendid in its situation, 
ill buHt, and comfortless within, contains 25,000 people. The University is frequented 
by about 500 students, and has a library of 18,000 volumes. Sassari, the second city of 
the island, has a population of 15,000. 

It is worthy of remark that more than half the land in Sardinia belongs to Spanish 
prc^iietors; having been continued to them under the treaty by which Spain resigned 
the island. The country contains about 9,000 square miles, of which 5,200 are thus 
appropriated, with a population of 220,000 souls. The Marquis of Benevente alone is 
said to possess a district of more than 1600 square miles. 

A voluminous work, entitled ** Rifiorimento de Sardegna," was published in 1776 by 
F. Gemelli, a professor in the Collie of Sassari : it contains much information respecting 
the interior state of the island* 


who participate in the corruption, and exhibit all the vices of an 
oppressed and servile nation. The accounts given by modern travel- 
lers of the present state of Sicily are not greatly exaggerated. 
Nowhere is the contrast between nature and man so strongly 
marked : nowhere is the picture more striking of the effects of a 
bad provincial government upon the condition and habits of the 
people. At this time the ministry, of which the Prince Belmonte 
was a principal member, were making endeavours to give to the 
country a new constitution, firamed on the English model; The 
attempt for a time gained upon the popular feeling, but obstacles 
crowded around on every side to obstruct its progress. The perni- 
cious influence still exerted by the Queen ; the vicious intrigues of 
the aristocracy ; the conjoint resolution of the nobles and clergy 
not to suffer encroachment on their privileges ; and the feebleness of 
the Chamber of Commons; — all conspired to impede reform, and 
perpetuate abuse. Melancholy as is the fact, yet it must be allowed, 
that there were not in Sicily, at this time, a sufficient number of 
incorrupt men to fill the offices under the new constitution ; nor was 
the state of education such as to hold out more than a remote 
prospect of improvement. Talents and quickness are far from want- 
ing to the Sicilians; but these have hitherto been nurtured only 
under slavery, and rarely devoted but to the purposes of corruption. 
I am willing to believe, however, that this agitation of reform may 
eventually hasten its progress, whatever be the future political fortune 
of this island. 

From Palermo, I proceeded along the northern coast of Sicily to 
Milazzo, and thelice passed over to the Lipari Isles. The survey of 
these very extraordinary volcanic phenomena occupied several days, 
and afforded me the more satisfaction, from their analogy to many 
facts I had before observed in the great volcanic region of Iceland. 
Independently, however, of such sources of comparison, the Isles of 
Lipari must be interesting to every naturaUst; and they afford a 
scenery at once singular and sublime, in the perpetual fires which 
issue from the lojfty cave of Stromboli, in the vast crater of Volcano, 

8 ETNA. 

inferior only to that of Etna in magnitude ; and in the mountains 
of pumice, the streams of obsidian, and the selenitic rocks, which 
occur in the island, properly called by the name of Lipari. A few 
of the observations made in these isles, I have briefly stated in the 
note below*. After reading Mr.Tennant's paper in the Geological 

* Lipari, the largest of these isles, though not now the scene of active yolcanic pheno- 
mena, yet is more interesting in its products than either Stromboli or Volcano. An enumer- 
ation of these would include different varieties of compact lava, obsidian, pumice, volcanic 
tu£b, sulphur ashes, or scoriae ; and several, which may be called secondary, as selenite, 
sulphate of alumine, sulphuret of iron, &c. The tuffit forms several of the hills, in the 
interior of the isle, the height of which has been greatly exaggerated by Dolomieu and 
SpallanzanL The lavas, which chiefly appear on the coast, are remarkable for their general 
tendency to the vitreous character, and are often penetrated by veins of obsidian or 
pumice, as may be well seen in the great mass of rock on which stands the castle of 
LiparL — Whatever it may be in Hungary, or at Andemach, obsidian is certainly a vol- 
canic product in Lipari, occurring with other parts of the volcanic formation, in bed% 
veins, streams, and fragments, and exhibiting every stage of transition b6th into compact 
lava and pumice. These facts are very strikingly seai in a great stream of this substance, 
which terminates in a cliff upon the shore, to the south of the pumice mountain of Caropo 
Bianco ; some parts of which exhibit the perfect black, conchoidal obsidian ; others, 
difierent degrees of vitrification, passing into pumice and unvitrified lava« — The tufia of 
Lipari contains much obsidian, mixed with scoriae, and other volcanic fragments. 

The pumice of Lipari is a singular feature in the mineralogy of the island : it occurs 
everywhere in the tuflh, and spears also in the vitrified lavas ; but its principal accumu* 
lation is in the northern part of the isle, where it appears to form entire hills, of great he^ht 
and extent, and in quantity sufficient for the perpetual supply of the world. The Campo 
Bianco, which is upwards of 600 feet in height, is the most extraordinary of these hills, 
exhibiting a series of alternate ridges and hollows, some-hundred in number, formed by 
the deep fissures in the pumice, which are extremely regular, inclined at an angle of 
about 40% and varying from 10 to 40 or 50 feet in depth. There can be little question 
that this pumice is a volcanic product, and connected with the origin of the obsidian, 
which is so abundant in the same vicinity ; but it may be mc^e doubtfiil whether its beds 
have successively flowed from a crater, as is supposed by Dolomieu. 

The temperature of the hot springs, which form the baths of Lipari, I found to be 

The Isle of Volcano is chiefly interesting from its great crater, which forms an inverted 
cone, about a mile in circumference, and nearly 500 feet in depth; — from a stream of 
obsidian and semi-vitrified lava, which descends firom near the lips of the crater to the sea; -^ — 
from the columnar appearances in some compact lavas, which form an escarpement on the 


ETNA. 9 

Transactions, on the native boracic ^cid^ fpund in conncciion with 
some specimens from Lipari, it was v^jr iiit^esting to me to find 
this substance in large quantity within th^ Crater of Volcano; 
forming a white feathery covering to tJie sulphur, which is deposited 
from sublimation in various parts of this great cavity. 

Returning to Milazeo, I pursued my route to Messina, and thence 

along the magnificent coajs^t formed by the primitive Neptunian 

mountains, and by the volcanic region of Etna, to Catania, a plieice 

eminent among the cities of Sicily for extent and beauty, and yet 

more sO, from the comparative excellence of its institutions and 

society; interesting too from its relation to the history of tiiat vast 

volcano, which rises from its wide base on these shores, with a 

majesty and singleness of form aqd outline, which render it almost 

unique among the mountains of the world. Though the year was 

now far advanced, I was fortunate in my ascent of Etna, and 

accompUshod all I could desife 4n the survey of its wonders of 

landscape, and of those volcanic phenomena which bear with them 

the record of nearly thirty centuries, and of no fewer than sixty. 

eruptions. While refraining from all description, I. cannot omit to 

notice the impression I derived from the ^singukr contrast between 

the smiling and luxuriant surface of the lower region of Etft8,.and 

the picture I still had in^ my mitid of the broken; wild, and desolate 

aspect of the volcanic country in Iceland. Nor can I refraiii from 

m^itioning the monument which the English have lefl of tiieir 

residence in Sicily, in a small house built for the accommodation of 

travellers, just below the upper cone of Etna, and at the height of 

'^coast; — and especially from the production of boracic acid, together with the sulphur, which 
every-where lines the interior of the crater* I descended, though with much difficulty, 
to the very bottom <^ this vast hoUow, and procured thence some fine specimens of the 
dijBTerent productions of the volcano. 

I found the peninsula of Milazzo, just opposite the Lipari Isles, to be composed of gneiss, 
with some marbles, and appearances of granite veins. The tract of the Neptiuiian moun- 
tains, between Milazzo and Messina, exhibits also primitive slate rocks, with some local 
deposits of a shell limestone. 


10 ETNA. 

nearly 9,000 feet above the level of the sea. The building in itself is 
not magnificent^ but in its situation and design it is worthy of a great 
and cultivated people ; and the name of the Casa InglcM may long 
be matter of national pride to future travellers in this country.* 

Leaving Catania, I visited Augusta, and the venerable remains of 
the ancient Syracuse, and from this point returned to Messina; 
proposing to myself to visit at a future time the temples of Girgenti, 
and the great sulphur mines of the Val di Nolo. Between Catania 
and Messina, I stopped two or three days at Tauromina, a city 
unparalleled perhaps in the magnificence of its situation, and boast- 
ing a. noble monuitaent of antiquity in the ruins of the great theatre 
which crown its heights. 

At Messina were made the final arrangements for the voyage to 
Greece, which forms the subject of the succeeding narrative. — My 
original . plan was much less extensive than that which I finally 
accomplished ; comprizing little more than a journey through the 
Morea into Attica and Beotia. But schemes of travel usually grow 
as they proceed, and various circumstances which will afterwards be 
related, contributed to lengthen out this voyage to a period of nearly 
seven months. I was very fortunate in meeting at Messina a gentle- 
man, who had the same general object as myself in visiting Greece, 
and with whom I could satisfactorily concert all the plans for this 
expedition -f. We entered upon the voyage together, and I was 
happy in having his society during four months of the time which it 
eventually occupied. 

* The design of this edifice was suggested about three years ago, when our army wa» 
stationed oh the coast, opposite Calabria ; and it was executed by the voluntary contribu*^ 
tion of officers and travelers in the island: it contains three apartments, and a stal^le; 
and though at the time I was there, some internal accommodation was still wanting this 
has probably since been added by the same spirit which suggested the erection. Over the 
door is the following inscription : — *^ JEtnam perhstrantibm has ade$ Britanni in Sicilid > 
anno Salutis 1 8 1 1 •" 

t J. Ramsay, Esq., of Messina* 


On the evening of the I4th of October we sailed from Messina 
in a small armed cutter, carrying the mail from Sicily to the Ionian 
Isles. Notwithstanding some partial calms, the morning of the 
fourth day shewed us in the distance the high mountain-land of 
Cephalonia, and before nooji we had entered the channel which 
separates this island from the neighbouring one of Zante. The only 
incident during the passage was our meeting with two large ships, 
bound from Alexandria to Tangiers, and freighted with Moors who 
had been making the great pilgrimage to Mecca. While passing 
these vessels, all the pilgrims assembled on the deck to gaze at us : 
their tnrbaned heads and da^-k-bearded visages afforded a singular 
spectacle, to an eye, not yet familiar with the manners and costume 
of the east. 

The western coast of Zante exhibits only a range of limestone hills, 
forming steep cliffs to the sea ; and from this side nothing is seeu 
of that picturesque beauty which has obtained from this isle the 
epithet of " The Flower of the Levant.*' Cephalonia, on the other 
hand, shews its fairest part towards the s^uth^west. The deep port 
of Argostoli branches from this direction towards the interior of the 
isle, environed by fertile and richly-wooded hills, which, rise ^gradu- 
ally into the heights of the Black Mountain ; a ridge so loHy that it 
may be seen at the distance of 70 miles, and finely broken by deep 
gullies in the precipitous front, which it presents to the southern 
coast. The respective character of the two. islands gradually changed 
as we proceeded slowly along the channel which divides them. The 
scenery, too, became each moment more interesting as we advanced ; 
and afler passing Capo Skenari, on the coast of Zante, a splendid 
panorama opened out before us. We now seemed as in a great lake: 
on»the left hand were the mountains of Cephalonia ; to the right the 
shores of Zante, here gradually receding towards the souths softened 
in character, and extending backwards into rich and luxuriant plains, 
covered with vineyards, ol^ve-groves, gardens, and villas. In front 

c 2 

12 aAKTE. 

of the view, and foitniDg a great semicircle to the eye, appeared the 
sacred shores of the ancient Greece, upon which we now gazed for 
tlie first time.. The outline of this coast, though yet far distant, 
shewed us; diatijictly. tbe openiag of the Gulph of Corinth to th<2 
Ionian sea ; soon, indeed, closed in by the mountains of Achaia and 
Acamania which form its boundary ; yet not refusing to the fancy all 
tiiat lies beyond ofscenery, consecrated by tbe history of past Ages. 
From this intermediate point the tiew extended northwards, even to 
the hills of Albania, the ancient Epirus ; and south^vards was carried 
far along the shores of the Peloponnesus, level and fertile towards 
the sea, where they form the region of Elis, but rising behind into 
lofty groupes of mountains, yet more celebrated as a part of the 
ancient Arcadia. . .^ 

Nothiiig could be more fortunate than the aspect under which we 
saw a scene, thus magnificent in itself, and interesting in the associ-» 
ations it afforded. The evening was remarkably clear and serene ; a 
gentle wind from the south carried us slowly along the channel, brings 
ing with it, from the plains of Zante, a fragrant odour, which was 
distinctly perceptible even three miles from the land*. While 
entering the bay on whicrii stands the city of Zante, the moon; now 
near its full, rose from behind the mountains of the Morea, and drew 
a softened outline of these beautiful shores. The name of Akroteria, 
given to a line of wooded clifis which form the northern boundary 
of the bay, l^rought to mind many impressions of ancient time ^nd 
language. The heights of Monte Skc^o, which, on the opposite side, 
rise about 1,200 feet above the sea, afforded an object extremely im«- 
posing to the eye. The city wasseeta, in the interval, at the upper 
part of the bay, stretching in a semicircular line along its. shore, or 
ascending the side of a steep and broken hill; on the sununit of which 
stands the castle of Zante, commanding in its situation every part 
of the town. 

"* Those who may have resided in Zante will at once recal the reality of this fact. 

ZANtE. 13 

We landed on a pier, sheltering the inner part of the bay, and 
were conducted to a large triangular area, which forms the c^itral 
and most remarkable point in the city. It was crowded with an 
assemblage of people, singular in thdr intermixture and appearance. 
In one spot was seen a groupe of Zantiotes, uniting the Venetian with 
the Greek in their external costume and manner ; in another place, 
a body of soldiers of the Greek regiment, their dress at this time 
Uttie altered from its national character, and their aspect as little 
fiE^bioiied into the military mould of European troops ; in other parts 
of the area, the red-£Eiced English soldier, curiously contrasted with 
the natives of the country, in the feature and expression of his coun-* 
tenance, as well as in his military dress ; and, in addition to these, 
Corsican and Calabrian soldiers, sailors from various parts of the 
Mediterranean, and a few Gredc merchants, habited in the fashion 
of continental Greece, which will hereafter be described. This singular 
natiaoailraiixtnfe ifi, found, in many of the Mediterranean ports, m will 
be familiar to the memory of all who have traversed the streets of 
Gibraltar or Malta. 

During our stay in Zante, which did not at this time exceed four 
days, we resided in the house of Mr. Forbes, then the principal 
in the commissary department of the islands. At two subsequent 
periods^ wh^n making a longer stay here, I was most hospitably 
entertained by Mr.Foresti, the English minister in the Ionian Isles, 
a gentleman whose personal kindness has recommended him to the 
gratitude o^the traveller, as much as his public services, for a period 
of forty years, have done to that of the country. During these several 

' ■ ' ^ ' 

residences in Zante, I had the means of examining every part of the 
island ; the .scale of which is such as to lay it almost at once before 
the eye, and its natural beauties sufficient to awaken all the attention 
of the stranger. Its connection with England during the last four 
years of the war, may render interesting-a -short sketch of the natural 
featijres and population of the country. 

The circumference of Zante is nearly sixty miles ; and in size, as 
well as population, it ranks next to Corfu and Cephalonia among the 

14 ZANTE. 

Ionian Isles. The greater part of the island is formed by an exten- 
sive plain, which stretches from the northern to the southern coast, 
with a breadth of six or eight miles, bounded on the west by a parallel 
range of hills, which form the coast on this side ; to the east by Monte 
Skopo, and the eminences surrounding the city of Zante. Two bays 
break into the general circular outline of the coast ; one, on which 
stands the city ; the other on the southern side of the isle; each afford-- 
ing an anchorage for ships. The channel between Zante and the 
Morea is so much narrowed by the projecting point of Chiarmza on 
the continent*, that in one place it does not exceed twelve miles ; 
and with the relative situation of Cephalonia to the north, the island 
is thus sheltered on two sides from the open sea.-f- 

The number of inhabitants in the isle amounts to about 40,000 ; of 
whom, it is believed, that 16,000 or 18,000 reside in the city. The 
great plain of Zante, in the abundant provision it affords for an 
export commerce, forms the principal support of this population, 
and a source of considerable wealtli . to the island. Looking down 
upon this plain from any of the surrounding eminences, it has the 
aspect of one continued vineyard, with a few intervals only of land 
occupied in tillage or pasture. There is an air of luxuriant fertility 
and richness in the landscape, the effect of which is increased by 
the neatness employed in the distribution and culture of its surface. 
Numerous villages and country-houses are scattered over the plain, 

* This was formerly the promontory of Chelonites. It has beoi supposed ibat our English 
title of Clarence was derived from Chiarenza or Clarenza, the more modem name of this 
spot ; but the surmise is certainly very doubtful. Clarenza was the residence of the Princes 
of Achaia, of the iamily of Villehardouin ; the heiress of which house married Florent de 
Hainault The title of Clarence was first given in England by Edward HI. to his son 
Lionel, by Philippa of Hainault ; who, however, had only this indirect connection with 
the house of Villehardouin. It is more probable that the title was derived from that of 
Clare; being given to Lionel on his marriage with the daughter of Hulic de Burgh, Earl 
c^ Clare. The duchy of Chiarenza was one of the four divisions of the Morea, when 
possessed by the Venetians after the treaty of Carlowitz in 1698. ^ 

f One shipwreck has occurred on the coast of Zante, which may be worthy of notice, 
as the celebrated anatomist, Vesalius, perished on this occasion. 

ZAKTE. 15 

surrounded by gardens or by grm^es of olive, orange, and other fruit 
trees. The sides of the hills which form its boundary, present every- 
where this mingled scenery of wood and cultivation, particidarly on 
the decUvity of Monte Skopo, and the eminences adjoining the city, 
where the groves are of greater extent, and broken by many deep 
valleys which afford an infinite variety of surface. The range of hills 
on the western side the island, is more uniform in its outline, with 
an elevation varying from 1,000 to 1,300 feet above the sea. Their 
slope into the plain is likewise extremely beautiful ; and the limit they 
give is one that harmonizes well with the other parts of the scenery^ 
On the whole it is probable that there are few spots in the world 
possessing a more entire and finished beauty than the little island of 

The situation of the town has already been noticed, on the eastern 
coast, and at the upper part of a bay, of which it follows the semi* 
circular outline. Its extreme length, as it stretches along the shore, 
is nearly a mile and a half ; but the breadth no where exceeds 
300 yards, except in one place, where the houses extend up the 
ascent of the hill, on which the castle stands. In consequence of 
the long connection of Zante with. Italy, the style of building is chiefly 
Italian ; and the interior of the city every-where i^ews great neat>-: 
ness; in some points, even a certain degree of magnificence. The 
streets in general are narrow, the houses in the principal streets (whibh 
are bnilt of stone) usually four or five stories in height. Many 
churches appear in different parts of the city and its ienvirons ; a few 
of them having steeples, the remainder with the elevated fstcade 
which is seen in the Catholic churches in Sicily, Spain, and else- 
where. These are almost the only public buildings, as it is but of late 
years that Zante has been made a seat of government for the other isles. 
Among the private houses, many are of larger size ; but according 
to the custom of the south of Europe, it rarely happens that the 
ground floor is inhabited by the family. The aspect of the sitreets is 
rendered scmiewhat dull by the closely-rbarred lattices, which cover 
most of the windows, projecting forwards in such manner as to form 


1 6 ZAN*ns. 

a sort of triangular box ; through the bars of which a female figure 
may now and then beseen by those passing below. 

The principal street is one which runs parallel to the shore of the 
bay : this, in many places, is lined with piazzas, and contains a 
number of shops ; most of them designated by Italian signs, but some 
employing the Romaic or modem Gredc language. These shops 
have little exterior shew, but are tolerably well supplied with the 
common manufactured and colonial articles, whidi of late have 
been obtained chiefly from Malta. The people employed in them 
display more of activity and civil manner than the indolent shop^ 
keepers who are to be found in the towns of Spain, Portugal, and 
Sicily ; and the purchaser is not here sent away, because he wishes to 
see an article, which may chance to be on an upper shelf, as often 
happens in the former countries. 

The environs of the city afford a scenery of the most picturesque 
kind, derived in part from the distant views of the Grecian moun<» 
tains, partly from the shores of the island itself, as they sweep round 
to form the bay of Zante. This scenery is peculiarly striking to the 
north-west of the city, where, amidst the broken and wooded 
eminences which terminate towards the sea, in the chffs of Akro-» 
teria, numerous villas and cottages are seen, surrounded by their 
trellises of vines, and by all the luxuriant foliage of the fruit-trees of 
this climate ; or here and there a small chapel, sheltered in the recess 
of a valley, or by the deep shade of the olive woods ; with intervals 
between the eminences, through whidii may be seen the rich plain 
below, the sea, or the shores of Cephalonia and the Motea, It is 
this scenery which is so admirably described by Mr, Wright, in his 
poem of the Horse lonicee ; nor would it be easy to add to the picture 
of it, which he has given in that beautiful poem. 

The hill on which the castle stands, is about 350 f<?et in height ; 
composed of a loose friable material, chiefly calcareous in its nature, 
with some proportion of clay and sand : its sides are intersected by 
deep gullies ; and it is so much affected by earthquakes, that several 
portions of the new wall, erected since the arrival of the English, 

ZANTE. ij 

have been thrown dowii from this cause. The castle, which covers 
the summit, owes its origin to the Venetiians : its area is large, in- 
cluding, besides barracks and store-houses, many, detached private 
buildings, with gardens annexed to them. When our troops took 
Zante in 1810, the fortifications were found in very bad repair ; but 
much labour has subsequently been given to their improvement and 
ext^Asion ; the expence being defrayed by the revenues of the island. 
The views frt)m the castle are extremely fine ; and during the summer 
months, a r^daice here is considered much more desirable than in 
Ae city below. 

There are no other towns in the isle of Zante ; but numerous villages 
and hamlets, many of them singular in the beauty of their situation. 
The country on the skirts and ascent of Monte. Skopo is interesting 
. from the number of villas, convents, and chapels, which are scattered 
over its broken surface, and und^ the shade of the olive-groves, 
covering the lower part of this mountain. Though Zante presents 
every-where an aspect of luxuriant vegetation, yet the number of 
forest trees in the island is very inconsiderable, and the epithet of 
nemarosa Zacynlhus could now be given to it only from the woods of 
olive which border the coast, and the fruit-trees which are abundant 
over the surface of the country. 

Few remains of antiquity occur in this isle ; in' part, perhaps, owing 
the ravages of the Goths when they took it, under the emperors 
Valerian and Gallienift. At the village of Melinado, some portions 
of granite columns, with Ionic capitals, are seen in a church, which 
have been supposed to belong to an ancient temple of Diana. About 
the middle of the sixteenth century, a sepulchral stone is said to have 
been found in digging the foundation of a Latin church ; which, 
from the inscription upon it, and upon an urn that lay beneath, was 
thought to have covered the ashes of Cicero*, brought hither by his 

• The inscription on the stone is, « M. T. CICERO. HAVE. ET. TU. TERTIA. 
ANTONIA." The una simply bore the words, «« AVE. MAR; TUL." The Latin 
Bidiop Ramondini, who wrote aaaoooont of Zante^ about sixty years ago^ {De Zaoftithi Fortund,) has described thia aepnlchnd stone and uin. 


slaves^ after the massacre at the Formian villa. The supposition, 
however, is a very uncertain one, and not sufficiently confirmed by 
historic testimony. 

The pitch-wells of Zante are a natural phenomenon, which may 
be regarded as among the antiquities of the isle; since they were 
known and described as early as the time of Herodotus ; and are 
mentioned since by Fausanias, Pliny, and other authors. They are 
situated about ten miles from the city, and near the shore of the bay, 
on the southern side of the island : we visited this spot, which is 
called Chieri, a day or two after our arrival in Zante. A small 
tract of marshy land, stretching down to the sea, and surrounded 
on other sides by low eminences of limestone or a bituminous shale, 
is the immediate situation of the springs : they are found in three or 
four different places of the morass, appearing as small pools ; the 
sides and bottom of which are thickly lined with petroleum, in a 
viscid state, and by agitation easily raised in large flakes to the 
surface. The most remarkable of these pools is one circular in form, 
about 50 feet in circumference, and a few feet in depth, in which 
the petroleum has accumulated to a considerable quantity. The 
water of the spring, which is doubtless the means of conveying the 
mineral upwards to the surface, forms a small stream from the pool, 
sensibly impregnated with bituminous matter, which it deposits in 
part, as it flows through the morass : the other pools are of similar 
character. The petroleum is collected generally once in the year ; 
and the average quantity obtained from the springs is said to be 
about, a hundred barrels ; it is chiefly used for the caulking of vessels, 
not being found to answer equally well for cordage. 

It is a striking instance of the stability of nature, that these pitch^ 
springs should have continued nearly in the same state between two and 
three thousand years. The description of Herodotus corresponds well 

with their present appearances* ; and now, as in his time, the pitch is 

- — *■ ■ - 

* See Herod. lib. iv. 195. The hist<flrian speaks of the largest pool as about 70 feet' 
in circumference ; and Mr. Wright finds, somewhat further from the shore th&n the present 
pools, a circular wall, the area of which corresponds with this size. It is easily conceivable 




collected by drawing it from the pooils on a bcKigh of tnyitte, or 
other shrub, attached to a pole. It is a general bdief in Zsuite, 
that more pitch is brought up in the pools ^t the time of earth-' 
quakes ; and it is by no means improbable that this may happen 
from the agitation given to the strata which yields this mineral. 
The country in the vicinity of the springs is less peopled than the 
rest of the isle; and the low hills surrounding the ma^sh are chi^y 
grown over with myrtle, cystus, locust-tree, and other shrubs. 

The greater part of Zante is composed of calcareous , rocks, 
which form the range of hills on the western side of the island, and 
the insulated mass of Monte Skopo on its eastern coast. . The Ume^ 
stone of this isle doubtless belongs to the greg^t calcareous fonnatioii 
of Greece, which will hereafter be noticed in various place^^ as 
well in the different varieties of marble rocks, as also in the extensive 
mountain ranges of limestone containing flint. There is much 
difficulty in assigning a geological place to some parts of this cal* 
careous forination ; and I found a certain degree of this in . regard 
to the limestone of Zante, which cannot be described as primitive, 
diough I observed scarcely any vestiges of fossil reniains in the great 
mass of the rock- I must not Omit, however, to Qptice the form- 
ation of gypsum, which appears on various parts of its »ir&pe, 
forming many of the projecting points, or occupying the hollows on 
the side of Monte Skopo ; and near a village in the centre of th^ 
isle, appearing in low, round-backed eminences, bare of vegetation, 
and presenting a singular aspect from the putial lustre of the 
exposed surface. The gypsum appears to be principally of the 
grey foHated kind, containing some proportion of ^elenite. There 
can be no doubt that it lies upon the limestone; and from their 


that such slight change in situation may have taken place during tliis long interval of 
time. Herodotus says, that any thing figJling into the pool, is carried under ground, and 
comes up again in the sea at the distance of about half a mile. I aih not aware di0t this 
has been authenticated by any recent observation. Some account of the pitcb-well of 
Zante is ^ven in Vitruvius, lib.viii. cap. 3. 

D 2 

20 ZANTE. 

relatito they may perhaps be considered as the first floetz lime* 
stotie, and floetz gypsmn of the Weraerian arrangement ; an opinion 
which is further rendered probable from the presence of the shale 
beds and bitmninous springs among these strata. The eminences to 
the north of the city of Zante, which form the beautiful scenery 
already described, seem to be composed of an argillaceous sand- 
stone, containing probably som6 calcareous matter. These rocks 
rest also on the limestone of the island. 

It is probable that few spots on the earth are more subject to 
earthquakes than this Uttle isle. It is not a rare occurrence to 
have two or three in the month; and I am informed that in the 
sununer of 1811, for thirty or forty successive days, it was usual 
to experience several shocks each day. The occasioiial violence of 
these earthquakes is testified by the breaches in the castle walls, 
and by cracks in diflFerent buildings of the city% Their sphere 
seems to be very limited, seldom extending beyond the isles in the 
vicinity, and some parts of the neighbouring continent; and 
occasionally, as it appears, still more entirely confined to this island « 
From the information I Was able to collect here, the motion or 
sense of motion in these earthquakes is described to be more frcr 
quently that of undulation than of vibration or concussion; a 
mode of action which it is difficult to reconcile with any of the 
common agencies of physical force by impulse. It was further 
stated to me at Zante, and the statement is confirmed by the 
history of earthquakes elsewhere, that their occurrence is usually 
preceded by a peculiar state of the air ; which some describe as 
a heaviness or oppressiveness ; others with the stronger expression of 
a sulphureous atmosphere; and this, as it appears, independently 
of the season of the year. Another remarkable fact is,* that they 
are generally followed by rain, a statement which I received on 
good authority as well at Zante as at Santa Maura, and on the 
continent of Albania *.• It is not easy to account for such cir- 


* I did not learn that tihe earthquakes here shew any particular connection with 
the occurrence of the Sirocco wind. 


cumstances with the idea of a single local action; and were I 
to venture an opinion on the subject, I should think it much more 
probable that earthquakes are an electrical phenomenon ; the effect 
of electrical movement and distribution, rather than the result of 
any direct chemical agency, as seems to have been generally sur- 
mised. That great electrical inequalities and changes do occur in 
the body of the earth is rendered by analogy very probable ; and 
a reference to such changes will best explain the occasional extent 
of earthquakes, their more frequent occurrence in warm climates, 
the nature of the motion^ and the atmospherical phenomena which 
precede and follow them. Fewer lights have yet been thrown on 
this subject than might perhaps have been expected from the 
general progress of science. 

The commerce of Zante, as I have already stated, is maintained 
entirely by the produce of its plains. Currants, oil, and wine 
form the chief articles of export ; of which the first is by far 
the most important, nearly two-thirds of the land in cultivation 
being occupied by the vine which produces this fruit. Its culture 
is carried on with much neatness ; and in the month of 
June, when the flower is out, the aspect of the great vineyards 
on the plain becomes singularly rich and beautiful. The currants 
are gathered about the beginning of September, somewhat sooner 
than other grapes ; they are spread abroad for eight or ten days ; 
and are usually ready for packing by the end of September, or the 
beginning of October, The average annual produce of currants 
in Zante, for the last few years, has been upwards of 7.5000,000 lbs. ; 
th^crop of 1812 was estimated at 8,000,000 lb;. ; a large propor- 
tion of which quantity is exported to England, for the consumption 
of this country. As the imports into Zante are not large, a con* 
siderable part of the payment for cargoes of currants is made in 
specie,' the transactions in whiph were formerly carried on throtugh 
Treiste and Venice; but during the war have been in great 
measure transferred to Malta. The consumption of the article 
appears to have been increasing; and in 1809 it was calculated 


^2 ZANTE. 

that, of about 21,000,000lb8., the produce chiefly of Zante, Patias; 
Cephalonia, and Thrace, nearly 17>000,000lbs. were bought up 
for export before the end of September, The price of currants at 
Zante varies from 145. to 18s. per cwt., exclusive of shipping 
expences. They have been reported somewhat inferior to the fruit 
of the Morea ; but probably there is little real difference in quality^ 
The new currants are always brought upon the dinner-tables at^ 
Zante, as a part of the dessert. 

The produce of oil in Zante averages about 60,000 barrels every 
two years ; that of wine is said to be 4,000 barrels, besides which there 
is a considerable export of oranges, lemons, &c. That the trade 
of the island is progressive may be inferred from the increase of 
the customs ; which, if I rightly recollect, were farmed in 1813 for 
about 75,000 dollars; a much larger sum than they had been 
accustomed to produce. The English government of the isles has 
doubtless contributed to this prosperity. 

The imports into Zante are small in colonial and manufactured 
articles, which, until lately, were chiefly supplied from Venice and 
other Italian ports ; but now in great measure through Malta. The 
principal article of import, however, is com ; the supply of which 
from the island itself, is not nearly adequate to its consumption. I 
have heard it estimated, that about a third of the com consumed 
was grown in the isle ; another third obtained by the labours of the 
Zantiotes, who go over to the Morea to assist in the tillage and 
harvest ; and the remaining third purchased with money from the 
same quarter. The vicinity of the Morea to Zante is fiirther import- 
ant, as affording . a regular supply of cattle, poultry, and other 
articles for the consumption of the islaijd. It may be noticed, 
that no English house is yet settled here, nor in any other of the 
Ionian Isles. Were such an establishment to be made, I should 
think it probable that the consumption of British goods might be 
increased by the more regular a^d various supply. 

The population of Zante in its habits and manners, as well as 
in its costume and language, is intermediate between the Greek 

ZANTE. 23 

and Italian character ; a statement which may be extended generally 

to all the people of the Ionian Isles. The long dominion of the 

Venetians in these islands, and their constant commercial intercourse 

with them, has naturally produced this change on the original Greek 

population. Whether the influence has been altogether beneficial, 

may admit of some doubt ; and here, as in other similar cases, it 

will perhaps be found that intermixture has impaired the unity 

and strength of the character, without adding to any of its moiral 

or social virtups. Even though enjoying more civil liberty, the 

Greeks of the Seven Isles are in some respects inferior to those of the 

continent of Turkey ; their exterior is less dignified, their manners 

more corrupt, and they shew less capability of again becoming a 

people. It would be too hasty a theory, however, to attribute this 

simply to admixture with strangers ; since there have doubtless been 

other causes contributing to the effect. One principal cause must be 

admitted in the nature of the Venetian government ; which, whatever 

may have been its merits at home, was certainly open to great abuses 

in its provincial administration. The governors and other oflScers sent- 

to the islands, were usually of noble family, and often of decayed 

fortune ; men who undertook the ofiice as a speculation of interest, 

and executed it accordingly. Bribery, and every mode of illegal 

practice, were carried on openly ; toleration for a crime might easily 

be purchased ; and the. laws, in many respects imperfect themselves, 

were rendered wholly null by the corruption of the judges. Under 

tbjs faulty government^ different factions arose in the islands. The 

petty insular aristocracy furnished individuals, who, by a mor€ ample 

use of corruption, obtained local influence, and formed themselves 

into parties, which overawed the laws, and oppressed the people. 

These parties opposed each other, in some instances ev^n by a sort 

of trifling warfare; murders were extremely frequent; and the general 

state of society was depraved and corrupt. I have heard it stated, 

on sure authority, that the number of assassinations in Zante has 

occasionally been more than one for each day in the year ; a singular 

fact in a population of only forty thousand souls. At the aame time, 

24 ZANTE. 

literature made slow advances in the islands ; and the refinements of 
social life were but partially known to their inhabitants. 

In some respects the condition of Zante and the neighbouring isles 
has certainly been improved since the English occupied them. The 
factions, if not extinguished, are at least held in restraint; assas-» 
sinations are now rare ; and the laws are executed with greater fidelity. 
The state of society, however, is still on a low footing among this 
people. In the city of Zante, the largest in the isles, there are few 
families, who, from their habits or cultivation, are disposed to the 
better forms of social intercourse, or are capable of adopting them. 
The nobility of the isle, chiefly Counts of Venetian creation, 
though not inferior to those of the principal towns in Sicily, yet in 
general are men of little refinement; and in their modes of life 
scarcely equal to the middle classes of English society. It is com- 
mon, indeed, to send their sons to Italy to reside and study there ; 
but these young men, returning home, find no worthy object to engage 
their talents, or render their attainments useful, and soon relapse into 
the common routine of a Zantiote life. 

Female society scarcely can be said to exist here. The ancient 
habits of the country still confine the women in gceat measure to 
their own houses, and equally limit their education to the most 
trifling and common-place attainments. There are, doubtless, some 
exceptions to this character, but it is accurate as respects the general 
population of the island. Afl:er all, it may be admitted, that this 
state of society is not much below that of Sicily, or even of 
greater communities in the south of Eiu'ope ;• where there are fewer 
circumstances to explain or excuse it, than in the small provincial 
population of the Seven Isles. 

In matters of religion alone, their connection with Venice 
appears to have had Httle influence on the people of Zante. Their 
adherence to the Greek church is rigidly maintained ; and though the 
Catholic worship is tolerated, and there is a Catholic establishment in 
the island : yet, it is obvious, that the feelings of the Greeks towards 
their brethren of the Latin church are by no means of a cordial kind. 

2ANTB. . 25 

I had the opportunity of marking this at a publit^ -dinn^ ie the 
city, where the resident heads of the two churdies wfeare present,, and 
where difierent toasts were ^ven, that called forth son^ sentiment on 
the subject. The supericu* of the Greek church in ZahteJs the Fro^ 
topapas Carrer *, — a venerable and pleasing old man, — ^ho, in his 
office, is subordinate to a bishop, resident in Cephalonia. In theexeroise 
of their religion, the people of the isles, not fettered like the Oi^eeks of 
the continent, indulge themselves in all its exterior ceremonieiai ; on a 
much smaller scale, indeed, than those of Cathohc countries, but 
equally numerous and laboured in their details. In the early part of" 
1813, I was at Zante during a part of the carnival, and witnessed 
many of the processions, ttreet-masquerades, &c. which take pJace 
during this time. A more pleasing spectacle was the festival of All- 
Saints, in the spring' of the same year; celebrated amctng the 
oUve-grbves near tiiie city, where half the population of the plaoe was 
assembled in their best dresses, some walking, some dancing, others 
playing on the guitar, or foihning a piait in the religious processions ; 
and vanoua groups dining under the shade of the olive trees, accord- 
ing to the custom of the day. I was in Zante also on Eastet* Stmday, 
the observance of which is rendered interestlhg by the imteKhang^ 
of visits, salutations, and paste^eggs, which taldes place > among 
all the inhabitants. Every greeting on this day is accompanied 
by the expression of X^ig-og avt^ ; and there is a friendly and a 
common intercourse of all, well adapted to the occasion which 
calls it forth. 

There are few public amusements of any kind in Zante. At the time 
I was there, the question was agitated, whether an opera might not be 
safely admitted into the city ; and I heard various opinions on this 
subject among the principal inhabitants. The prevailing sentiment 
appeared adverse to it ; and even many of those who did not object on 
the score of religion or morals, yet spoke of the evil of changing the 
ancient habits of the people ; and especially of the female part of the 
community. The English garrison of the island occasionally gave balls 

* All the priests under the Greek church being called jxipa^ this title is equivalent to 
that of first priest 



and other entertainments^ which, however, are only very partially 
frequented by the natives. 

The language spoken in Zante and the other Ionian isles, is a 
dialect of the Romaic, much corrupted by its admixture with Italian 
words and phraseology. The effect of this admixture is often very 
ludicrous, or what might be even provoking to the scholar, who seeks 
in the modem Greek the remains of that language to which his early 
veneration has been given. Such expressions frequently occur as 
^ ta compUmenta num ;'* ^^ o Kapitanos tau Brigantnwu^'^ ^. Never- 
theless, amidst all this corruption of dialect, and the further novdty 
which the pronunciation by accent gives to the ear, the stranger will 
speedily recognise, in the language of Zante, the basis from which it 
is derived, and will feel the singularity of listening to phrases from 
peasants and children in streets, which have hitherto been known to 
him only in the society of the learned, and the writings of former 
ages. He now hears the island spoken of under its ancient name of 
Zakyntbos ; the accent being laid on the first syllable of the word ; and 
list^is also to the name of Ithaca, familiarly employed by the inha- 
bitants. Among the higher classes, however, the use of Italian seen)3 
to be more firequent than that of the Romaic, the Venetian dialect 
of that, language being chiefly employed. 

( 27 > 






'T^HE history of Zante is comprized generally in that of the Ionian 
lales. The rapid decay of the eastern empire, and the active 
policy of the Venetians, during the period of the Crusades, threw the 
islands,together with various portions of the adjoining continent, into 
the hands of this enterpri;2ing people, during the thirteenth century. 
Some parts of those acquisitions were afterwards permanently taken, 
and others occupied for a time by the Turks, when that nation was 
in the height of conquest and mihtary power ; but they did not long 
retain any of the Ionian Isles ; and the dominion of the Venetians 
continued in this sea, with little interruption, for more than 300 years. 
In later times, the political situation of the isles has been much more 
fluctuating. The successes of ^e French in Italy, in the campaign 
of 1797» gave them, by the treSy of Campo Formio, this possession, 
together with others of the Venetian colonies. The various events 
succeeding in the Mediterranean, rendered the situation of the isles 
for two or three years very precarious and disturbed ; and it was not 
till March 1801, that a settled form was given to their govamment^ 
by a treaty between Russia and the Forte, in which these powers 
agreed to guarantee, their existence as a distinct state, paying, how- 
ever, a certain tribute to the Port^ under the name of ^^ The 
Republic of the Seven Isles.'' The integrity of this Republic, 
consisting of the Isles of Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, Santa-Maura, 
Ithaca, Cerigo, and Paxo, * was further made an article betweei). 
England and France in the treaty of Amiens. The small common- 
wealth, so constituted, had a population of about 200,000 souls ; 
allied^ indeed, by origin, language, and habits^ but so divided irom 

E 2 


their insular situation, that they could have no political efficiency^ 
even under circumstances more favourable than the present condition ^ 
of European politics and warfare. At the head of the Republic, the 
government of which was fiked at Corfu, was placed the Prince 
Commute, a Zantiote nobleman, whose rank and integrity ^recom- 
mended him to a situation, which he filled with honour and propriety. 
The Prince, now advanced in years, resides at present in Zante, 
where his estates are situated, and maintains in private life the respect 
which formerly was given to his public situation. 

The renewal of the war did not directly atfect the Ionian Isles, 
but they could not long escapi^;, in a contest which successively 
involved every part of Europe. The naval forces of Russia, with a 
few land troops, afforded them protection during the war, which 
terminated in the treaty of Tilsit ; but by the terms of this treaty 
they were consigned over to the French empire, and immediately 
garrisoned by French troops. The government established in Corfii 
affected to give a catain degree of legislative freedom to the people, 
and to restore various usages of the ancient Greeks. The reckoning by 
Olymj^iads was to be renewed ; Olympic games were to be celebrated 
at each period of four years ; and iron medals to be distributed as 
prizes. These projects had a mighty aspect in the columns of the 
Moniteur, but this was all ; and if they were designed to influence 
the minds of the continental Greeks, their effect was speedily lost in 
the train of succeeding events. 

Early in 1810, a small English expedition lefl Sicily, under the 
command of General Oswald, destined to act against the Icmian 
Isles. Zante, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Cerigo. were taken almost 
without opposition. In Santa-Maura, the French garrison made a 
longer resistance, but was finally compelled to surrender. Corfu, and 
the small adjoining Isle of Paxo, alone remained in the French power; 
the garrison* of the former being much stronger than the whole dis- 
poseable force in the captufed isles, and our only offensive means 
therefore being a maritime blockade. In this state the affairs of th6 
Ionian Isles continued from 1810 to the late peace; two islafnds being 

THE lOKIAN isles; qq 

subject to tl^e French, under the immediate • command of General 
Denzdot ; the remaining five, which contain a population of nearly 
140,000 souls, being under the protection of the English, with tlie 
title of " The Liberated Ionian Isles/' At the time I am now writing, 
it is still uncertain how this little community will be disposed of, 
under the internal arrangements of the great powers of Europe, An 
ind^eiidence, under the common- guarantee of England, Russia^ 
France, and Austria, would probably, on the whole, be the condition 
most favourable to the interests of the people. 

While the islands continued under British governmait, con-^ 
siderable, perhaps too great, deference was paid to their ancient 
institutions. The Venetian laws were maintaiiled, and their execution 
conunitted in each isle to four of the principdl inhabitants, with a 
president, or Capo del g&vemo^ which office was always filled by the 
chief English military bfficer in the island. Corfu being possessed 
by the French, the seat of the general government, civil and military, 
was established at Zante; and hither w6re brought all appeals from 
the other isles^ with a further reference to our authorities in Sicily, to 
which the command was still subordinate. At the time I was in the 
Ionian Isles, Major-General Airey hdd this command, and so ful- 
filled its duties as to merit and obtain the attachment of the popu« 
lation committed to his charge : he was succeeded in the spring 
of 1813 by General Campbell, who h?U9 remained in the islands since 
this period. 

The Enghsh government, short as was its duration, has certainly 
been bendicial to the welfare of the isles : their commerce has 
experienced some increase ; and the revenues, which were formerly 
abused to party purposes, have, during this time, been devoted to 
the internal improvement of the country, the repair of the fortifica- 
tions, and the cbnstfuction or improvement of roads. The police 6f the 
towns, in the different isles, has also been amended : assai^inations, 
as I have before mentioned, rendered very uncommon) and the 
influence of factious parties much repressed. These evils may 
possibly again occur ; but it i^ something to have shewn the possir 


bility and advantage of their removal. It might perhaps have been 
welU while retaining authority in the isles, had we done more, in 
establishing a college here, for the general education both of the 
insular and continental Greeks. Such an institution, the larger the 
scale of which the better, would have been honourable to ourselves, 
eminently useful to the Greeks, and of very beneficial influence to 
all our future relations with this people^ The idea, however, has not 
been wholly neglected ; a young Greek, who resided some years in 
London, and was well known under the name of Plato, having been 
sent out by government some time since, for the purpose of establish- 
ing a school in Zante. It may be apprehended, however, that the 
scale of their design is too small to answer all the purposes that mi^t 
be effected in this valuable object. 

An Italian newspaper formerly existed in Zante. While main- 
taining this, another was set on foot about two years ago, in the 
Romaic language, under the tide of *E(pfi[jLifU rSv ImfKKm EXivOifi^famv 
Nifa-c#v, protected by the English, and under the immediate direction 
of an intelligent young man, of the name of Zerv6, a native of Corfu : 
this paper is printed once or twice a-week, according to the supply 
of intelligence. The types, which were prociu'ed from Venice, are 
sufficiently good ; and the general appearance of the paper neater 
and more correct than the Corfiote Gazette, under the French 
influence, to which it was opposed*. The style of the leading 
article, to employ an English phrase, is usually very good, and less 
corrupted by foreign idioms than is common in the application of the 
Romaic to modem European topics* By the suggestion of Sir 
W. Gell, the scheme of the paper has been eiLtended to the report of 
intelligence from continental Greece; and a direct correspondence 

* lliu Corfiote Gazette had a Frendi translation appended to tbe Gfedc, and was 
circulated with assiduity through the Levant A third Greek pqper is printed at Vienna, 
calM the Exx9iM«of T^tYf*(fQif which seems to be conducted with some talent, and obtains 
circulation from tfie constant intercourse of the commercial Gredcs wUh the Austrian 
dominions. A literary journal also has been established at Vienna, called the e^/ia^ o A^*or^ 
finder the dbrection of Anthimus Qnad^ a literary Greek of some rqpute^ 


esjtablished with Atheifti to supply information as to the pursuits of 
traviellers and progress of discovery ; thus giving the publication some 
value beyond that of a mere journal of passing events. 
' One of the principal Zantiotes of later times, is George V^itoti, 
who has given his countrymen, and the Greeks at large, a very 
valuable work, in his Ae^ixoy T^i^x&^o-ny ; a dictionary of the Romaic, 
Italian, and French languages, in three volumes 4to., published at 
Vienna in 1790. He has also published a Romaic and French 
Gtanmiary and a History of America in four volumes. Ventoti, 
I believe, now resides in some situation at Vienna. Demetrius 
Gutzeli, another Zantiote, translated the Jerusalem Delivered, which 
translation was published at Vienna in 1807* * 

The British garrison at Zante, when I was there, consisted of 
a few companies of the 35th regiment, companies of the Corsican 
rangers, and Calabrese corps, and the Greek light infantry. The 
35th had remained in the islands since they were taken from the 
French; a fine regiment^ and one that, from its long continuance 
in the Mediterranean, had acquired much adaptation to the manners 
of the south of Europe. Most of the children of the soldiers spoke 
Italian fluently ; and many of the younger ones, the Greek dialect 
of the Zantiotes. The situation of this regiment in Zante was 
easy, and even luxurious ; the climate fine ; provisions, wine, fruit, 
&c. extremely cheap; and much good will existing between the 
soldiers and the natives. Their only extra service was the easy one 
of bearing a part in the religious processions of the Greek church. 
Besides the band of the regiment, two files of English soldiers 
might generally be seen with these processions ; each man carrying in 
his hand a lighted taper, and fulfilling their parts with propriety 
^and decency of nianner. The contrast was striking in such cases 
between the open and full countenance of the Englishmen, and the 
more contracted, darker, and broader visages of the Greek reUgioils 


• TTiis tranAoioii is made in ihe verm palUici, a style which the usage of several 
centuries has sancti<«ed to the poets of hiodero Greece. 


functionaries. The officem of the regiment partook in the same 
comforts as the men, complaining chiefly of the want of promotion, 
which was a consequence of their easy and unviarying life. They 
had not, however, much intimate society with the native families 
of Zante ; the difference of manners precluding in great degree any 
other intercourse than that of general civility. 

The Greek * regiment afforded a singular spectacle at the time t 
first visited Zante. Nearly a thousand men, drawn chiefly from the 
Morea and Albania, many of them from the district of the ancient 
Lacedemon, were assembled together in their native dresses, some- 
what such as I shall hereafter describe, in speaking of the Albanian 
soldiers. They were marshalled and disciplined according to our 
tactics ; and, though not speaking a word of English, received the word 
of command in this unknown language. Their officers, three-fourths 
of which were Albanians or Moriotes, the remainder English, were 
already habited in a superb dress, copied in various parts from ancient 
costume. The men did not receive their uniform till some time 
afterwards, nor did their appearance gain much by the intermixture 
it aflforded between the English and their own national dress. It 
is trae indeed, that red was the military garb of the Spartans in 
old times, but the resemblance went litde farther than to the colour 
of the ill-made jackets, which came out from England for this 
modem Greek regiment. The discipline of the men, when I saw 
them, was little advanced, and there seemed a singular inaptitude to 
acquire it; their appearance and movements were in all respects 
curiously rude and uncouth. The band had made greater advances 
than their countrymen in the ranks, and already performed our 
English airs with some degree of skill. The progress of the regiment 
waj certainly much retarded by its vicinity to the Morea; which 
easily enabled those to desert who became weary of the service, and 
of a more correct discipUne than was accordant with their former 
habits. Such desertions frequently occurred, and though the ranks 
were much replenished from the same source, yet th§ eflFect was 
obviously adverse to the welfare of the regiment. Soon after this 



time, Achmet Pasha, successor' to Veli Pasha in the Morea, did 
something, though from other motives, to check this evil, by 
executing eleven men who had deserted from Zante, and been 
taken by his soldiers in the Morea. Still it was thought 
desirable on various accounts to transfer the Greek regiment to 
Sicily; and they sailed from the isles with that destination in 
February 1813. It was supposed that there might be much re- 
luctance to this measure ; but the men were embarked without 
difficulty, and even testified some enthusiasm on the occasion. 

It has since been attempted to raise another Greek regiment on 
the same footing; and had the war continued, this would have 
been effected. There was certainly some national policy in the 
measure, as connecting us more intimately with a people and 
coimtry, which of late have again bfeen brought within the compass 
of European politics ; and to which ftiture events may give much 
greater importance in the balance of European power. * ' 


From Zante I made a short excursion to the neighbouring isle 
of Cephalonia, the largest of those in the Ionian Sea -f-. From the 
bay of Zante to the harbour of Argostoli, the capital of Cephalonia, 
is a distance of 30 miles. This port branches deeply into the 
island ; and Argostoli, from its situation, is entirely shut out from 
the sea, forming a secure harbour, but difficult of egress when the 
wind is from any west or south quarter. On the same arm of the 
sea, but on the opposite side, and nearer to its mouth than 

* We had the opportuni^ of seeing, while in Zante, the beaatiful fijesse from the 
Temple of Apollo at Phygalia, in the Morea ; which had recently been brought here 
by the En^ish and German gentlemen, who conjointly had discovered, and obtained it 
by exdavation. It is gratifying to learn that this admirable example of antient art is 
finally to be brought to England. 

f This excursion was made in February, 1813, after returning to Zante from my first 
jeumey on the continent of Turkey ; but I have narrated it in this place^ as being con- 
nect^ with what I have to say of the Ionian Isles. 

34 cbphalot^a; 

ArgostoU^ staads the town of Lexouri, containing about 5,000 
peopl0. Argostoli itself i$ somewhat less populous, but is better 
built, and has been .the seat of the insular government. The town 

, Stretches about a mile along the shore, a low ridge of. hills rising 
behind, which intervene behind this branch of the gulph and the 
^Quthern coast of the. island; and derive a luxuriant aspect from 
the villages, olivengroves, and vineyjards covering their declivity. 
The shore of the gulph opposite the town affords a differetit 
character; the ground ascending rapidly, or in some places even 
precipitously, towards the lofty chain of hills in the centre of the 
ifiie. The acclivity of these hills is scantily covered with soil, 
except in the hollows, or on the ledges they form in their ascent, 
where a village may here and there be seen in very singular situ- 
ations ; surrounded generally by vineyards and olive-trees. The 
remainder of the mountain surface is much exposed, and presents 
a peculiar aspect from the whiteness of the limestone of which 
it is composed. On the whole, the scenery about the gulph of 
Argostoli is of a very pleasing and remarkable kind. 

Letters with which I had been favoured by General Airey and 
Mr. Foresti, procured me a very polite reception from Major Du 
Bosset, who then resided at Argostoli, as governor of the island. 
This gentleman is a native of Switzerland, but has been long 
attached to the British service in different situations, and is now 
Major in the regiment of De Rolle. At this time he had filled 
the office of commandant in Cephalonia for about two years, and 
had shewn remarkable activity in forwarding various schemes of 

. internal improvement ; some of which I shall speedily notice. By 
his assistance, I procured an excellent lodging in the family of 
Signore Metax^, an avocato or lawyer by profession ; who gave 
up to my use two large ropms, furnished in the Venetian style, 
and treated me with that profuse civility of manner, that exuberance 
of courteous phraseology, which can only be well apprehended by 
those who have travelled in Italy, or the Italian appendages in the 
south of Europe. 


Cephalonia is about a hundred miles in drcuiriference. The most 
striking feature in the general aspect of the island, is the great ridge 
called the Black Mountain ; the height of whiqh I should judge, from 
the distance at which it is seen, to be little less than 4,000 feet. It is 
the Mount ^nos of antiquity, mentioned by Strabo, as the loftiest 
point in the isle ; and on its summit once stood an altar, dedicated to 
Jupiter ^nesius. I was assured in Cephalonia that some of the 
stones of this altar are yet to be found there ; and, together with them, 
the bones of animals, which are supposed to have been the victims 
sacrificed on the spot. The name of the Black Mountain was 
obtained from the large pine-forests which once covered its accli* 
vities ; but during the disturbed state of the islands fifteen years ago, 
these forests, as it is said, were wantonly set on fire, and in great part 
destroyed ; so that now the appearance of the mountain entirdy con- 
tradicts its name. This is especially the case on its southern side ; 
where the precipitous point, which rises by a single majestic elevation 
from the base to the summit, is broken by numerous deep gullies, 
displaying the white limestone rock of which the mountain is com- 
posed. The other hills, which stretch across the centre of the isle and 
occupy the greater part of its extent, ate all connected in the same 
groupe with the Black Mountain. On a conical insulated hill to 
the south of this mountain, and five miles from Argostoli, stands the 
castle of St. George, of Venetian origin, and the strongest fortified 
point in the island : it was at this time garrisoned by three hundred 
Greek troops in our pay, forming the body called the Ionian Greek 
Infantry. The town of St. George is situated on the declivity of the 
kill, below the castle. 

The island, in its present state, contains from 55,000 to 60,000 
inhabitants. The most populous portion of it is that surrounding the 
gulph of Argostoli, and forming the boundary of the southern coast, 
underneath the Black Mountain : there is also a considerable popu- 
lation on the north-east coast, opposed to Ithaca ; the district in 
which stood the ancient city of Samos. Though the extent of the 
island gready exceeds that of Zante» its general fertility is much less, 

F 2 



the soil being for the moat part scantily spread over the limestone 
rock of which the country consists. The property in land, too, is 
more divided than in the latter isle ; the largest proprietor in Ceplia^ 
Ionia not having a revenue of more than 800/. or 900/. pet annum ; 
while in Zante there are estates, which are said to be of more than 
double this value. The tenure of the land is for the most part 
annual ; the tenant, by his agreement, paying to the landlord one 
half of the produce. The commerce of the island is considerable, 
though much less in proportion than that of Zante. The principal 
articles of export are currants, wine, and oil ; the annual produce of 
currants being estimated at from 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 lbs. ; that of 
oil at a larger proportional anK>unt. A considerable number of sheep 
and goats feed upon the high grounds of the island ; but 1 heard 
nothing to corroborate the strange story of iBlian, that in Cephalonia 
the goats do not drink during six months of the year. * 

Argostoli has already been noticed as the seat of government ; but 
as its population does not exceed 4,000, the town possesses no pecu- 
liar importance in the isle. Its appearance has been improved; since 
the occupation of Cephalonia by the English ; and the police greatly 
amended, so that the assassinations, which were before very frequent 
here, now scarcely ever occur. The peninsular site of Argostoli, 
between the gulph and the sea, was until lately a source of much 
inconvenience ; the people coming to the town from other parts of 
the isle being obliged either to cross the gulph by an ill-regulated 
ferry, or to make a circuit round the shallow lagoons which form its 
upper extremity. Under the direction of Major Du Bosset, a cause- 
way has been thrown across this arm of the sea, just above the town^ 
of sufficient breadth to admit a carriage to pass ; and firmly^ con- 
structed of blocks of solid stone, without cement. This was a great 
undertaking ; the length of the causeway exceeding 700. yards ; and 
the water in many parts of the channel being six feel in depth. By 


* Hist. Animal, lib. iii. 32. 



a certain party* in the island,, the work has been regarded as one of 
doubtful utility j it being alleged that the upper end of the gulph will 
now become a stagnant pool, detrimental to the health of the people 
of Argostoli. Intermittent and remittent autumnal fevers were pre- 
viously frequent in the place, depending, it is probable, upon the 
vicinity of these lagoons ; but as there are many arches in the new 
causeway, for the passage of the waters, it does not seem that there is 
much ground for this additional alarm. 

The roads in Cephalonia were formerl}'^ very bad : most of them 
little better than rugged mountain paths. The same active spirit in 
Major Du Bosset has led him to employ a certain part of the labour 
and revenue of the island in the construction of new roads ; and this 
measure has been carried into eflfect with singular promptitude and 
success. The rocky nature of the surface has given facility to the 
work, by providing a firm substratum and an excellent materiaL 
The peasants by degrees became sensible to the advantage of these 
improvements ; and in several instances came forward to volunteer 
their labours, and to solicit an extension of the roads to other districts 
of country. Thesie works therefore have drawn less upon the revenue 
of the island than might be ex{)ccted from their scale and complete- 
ness. The road beginning from the new causeway at Argostoli, and 
traveirsing the mountains in the centre of the isle, to the opposite 
coast near Samos, is the greatest undertaking of the kind. It had 
been executed, when I was in Cephalonia, so far as to be every-where 
perfectly passable for a carriage ; and the journey from Argostoli to 
this coast, which formerly required eight or ten hours, might now be 
performed in little more than Half the time. The road carried along 
the populous district of the southern coast might almost be compared 
with those of England, and is greatly superior to any I have seen in 
Portugal or Sicily. 

It has been doubted, or rather indeed asserted, that these schemes 
of improvement in Cephalonia were too hasty in their origin ; and 
on a scale disproportionate to the small revenues of the country. 
Such objections, however, are common in all similar cases ; and I 


have little hesitation in expressing my own belief, that the general 
effect of the plans, so actively carried forward here, will be greatly 
and permanently beneficial to the welfare of the island. 

Major Du Bosset has farther been industrious in exploring the 
antiquities of Cephalonia, and has succeeded in bringing to light many 
curious facts on this subject. In ancient times the island contained 
four principal cities, Samos, Pali (which the last Philip of Macedon 
unsuccessfully besieged*), Krani, and Pronos. The site of Samos, a 
place often mentioned by Homer, and pertaining to the kingdom of 
Ulysses, exhibits still very extensive walls ; and excavations among 
its ruins have afforded various specimens of ancient ornaments, 
medals, vases, and fragments of statues. The city of Krani stood on 
an eminence at the upper end of the gulph of Argostoli; and its walls 
inay yet be traced nearly in their whole circumference, which, from 
the observations I made, I conceive to be almost two miles. On 
the north-east side, where they follow the summit of a sleep ascent, 
they are built with the greatest regularity, and shew the remains of a 
gateway, and several towers. The structure is that usually called 
Cyclopian, and which was employed in the earliest times of Greece; 
vast oblong blocks of stone set upon each other, and nicely fitted 
together without cement. In a road which leads from the 
eminences of Krani to the plain, at the head of the gulph, I observed 
the deep traces of wheel-carriages worn in the rock, like those near 
to the Latomies at Syracuse. In a cliff, which bounds the same 
road, is an excavation, probably intended as a sepulchre, and sur- 
mounted by a Greek inscription on the rock, now legible only in a 
few of its letters : other vestiges of the ancient population occur in 
this vicinity. Bet.ween the castle of St. George and the village of 
Metaxata, five miles from ArgostoU, there are large catacombs, nine or 
ten of which have lately been opened, so as to display the curious 
excavation of tombs in the loose calcareous rock which occurs at 
this place. Some of the caverns are distinct, others connected 

• See Polyb. lib. v. 


together. There is likewise much variety in the number and arrange- 
ment of the tombs in each; s6me containing only six^ others as many 
as sixteen, regularly disposed. Major Du Bosset has a considerable 
collection of sepulchral urns, inscriptions^ &c., found as well in these 
catacombs as in other parts of Cephalonia*. This gentleman has 
also explored the remains of Pronos, and ascertained various facts 
regarding an ancioit temple which stood on the eastern coast of the 
island, near to the sea, and which until this time had never been 
examined. An account of this observation was pubhshed in the 
Zante Ephemeris^, an extract of which I have given in the Appendix. 
The coins of all the four cities of Cephalonia are well known, and 
may be found in various cabinets of medals.f 

The more modern history of Cephalonia nearly corresponds with 
that of Zante ; and its population, as might be expected, presents 
most of the same general features. In some points, however, there 
are shades of diflference. The Cephaloniotes being less wealthy, arc 
more enterprizing than the natives of Zante ; and by their quickness 
and activity have long obtained distinction among the other people 
of the Levant. The young men of the island, wherever means can 
be aflforded, are sent to Italy, generally with the view of studying 
law or physic, the professions fo which they principally attach them*» 
selves. Only a certain number return to settle in Cephalonia ; the 
remainder either procuring situations in Italy, or migrating to various 
parts of the Levant for the purpose of seeking employment. 
Medicine is on the whole the favourite object of pursuit ; and it is 
probable that from no equal amount of population in the world, 
are so many physicians produced as from that upon the small isle 
of Cephaloxiia. There is scarcely a large town in European Turkey, 

^ Among the bones found in these catacombs, I saur two, an osfemoris^ and tibia^ which 
had been fractured during life. If the manner of union in these bones might betaken as 
evideAoe, they would not greatly accredit the skill of the ancient Cephak>niote surgeons. 

f Petrus Maurocenus, a Venetian senator, published, in the seventeaith century, an 
account of the antiquities of Cqphabnia. 


_ I 

where' one or more Cephaloniotes may not be found engaged in 
medical practice, and pursuing their fortunes with an assiduity, 
which is generally succcssfiil in as far as circumstances render it 
possible ; it is said to be a common prayer of the sages femmes of the 
island, when a female child is born, " that she may be happy and 
have a physician for her husband/' There is a similarity among all 
these islanders, in whatsoever situation tbey are founds which cannot 
fail to strike the attention of the traveller. They are generally quick 
and ingenious in their conceptions ; adroit, as well as active, in their 
affairs; in their manner, bustling, loquacious, and verbose; and with 
•a temper disposed to litigation and intrigue. When you talk to a 
Cephaloniote, you find him argumentative, yet insinuating, dealing 
much in moral truisms ; which, though given with form and gravity, 
obviously mean very little from the mind. As a natural effect- of 
their character, petty feuds are very common in the island ; and an 
ample provision is made at home for most of the young lawyers who 
come from the Italian schools. In Cephalonia, as in Zante, the 
corrupt feebleness of the Venetian government allowed the formation 
of parties, which usually had their origin in personal broils, and were 
prosecuted therefore with extreme asperity, and with manifest ill 
effect on the condition of the people. The petty aristocracy of 
Cephaloniote Counts, who are the chief proprietors in the island, were 
also the principal agents in these feuds. Most of these men have 
been educated in Italy ; but coming home without profession or 
employment, their trifling rank becomes hurtfiil to their future 
character, and they waste in the form of intrigue that active talent 
which is habitual to the natives of the island. This party spirit in 
the higher classes, and the evils it entailed upon their dependeats, 
have been checked by the EngHsh government in Cephalonia ; but it 
may be feared that the influence will be one of short duration only. 

The society at Argostoli, independently of these feuds, is not 
without its merits; compri^siug many persons who are agreeable, 
both from their manners and acquirements. I was introduced by 
]\|ajor Du Bosset to the two principal physicians of the place, 



whom I found intelligent men^ both of them educated in Italy, 
and well-informed in their profession *. At the house of my host 
Metax^, I saw some specimens of the Cephaloniote lawyers, which 
did not equally interest me in their favour. The priests in the 
island, though very numerous, are inferior in respectability to both 
the former classes. They are generally taken from a lower rank 
in society, and their education is of a very limited kind; a cir^ 
cumstance not peculiar to this island, but common to the other 
isles, and to the continent of Greece. In Cephalonia, two papas 
or priests were for some time very active in opposing the schemes of 
improvement which have lately been carried on there. It is a curious 
instance of their tendency to resist innovation, that when Major Du 
Bosset wished to introduce the culture of the potatoe, many of these 
men laboured to convince the peasants, that this was the very apple 
witli which the serpent seduced Adam and Eve in Paradise. 
Unfortunately the potatoe experienced a more serious obstacle in 
two successive bad seasons, and in the necessity which was foiiiid 
for renewing the sets from England at the expiration of this 

The only Cephaloniote priest with whom I had much intercourse, 
was a deacon of the island, a respectable man, and a great proficient 
in music. He is very solicitous to be an agent in reforming the 
music of the modern Greeks, and gave me some compositions of 
his own, chiefly sacred ; in which, though retaining the notation of 
his country, he asserted that he had made considerable improvement 
in the style. 

Cephalonia has produced several authors in the Romaic language. 
The nsr^A' £xAyJaXir, a curious treatise on the schism of the eastern and 
western churches, was written by the Bishop Maniati of this island. 
Among the modern Greek writers, may be mentioned Spiridion 

^ From one of tbese phyudans I obtained a manuBcript treatise on the poisonous 
qoaB^ -of the Httradylh gummifera^ which grows in the island. A melancholy instance 
of Hs cflectft had oocunred some time before in the village of Lachitra. 



Asani qS Cephalonia.; whose principal work is a translation ^f 
Father Grandi's Synopsis of Conic Sections, published at Vienna 
m 1802. 

The government in Cephalonia, during our possession of it, was 
constituted as in Zante, by a council of five persons, of which the 
British commandant was the president ; and by an administrative 
body, consisting here of sixty persons. All appeals from these in- 
sular authorities were transferred to the general government at Zante. 

The hills about the gulph of Argostoli, and probably the moun- 
tains in general of Cephalonia, are composed of a calcareous rode ; 
which in some places has the appearance of primitive limestone^ 
but which I take rather to be one of those varieties of coralline 
limestone, that often present a semi-crystalline aspect. I did not 
observe, however, any distinct vestiges of organic remains, except 
in some strata, forming a part of the ridge to the south of Argostoli, 
on which stands the picturesque village of Lachitra. This limestone, 
which contains a considerable abundance of shells, appears to lie 
upon the rock before-mentioned. I learn that it is found also in 
other parts of the island. Major Du Bosset spoke to me of a 
sandstone occurring to the south of Argostoli ; which I did not see, 
but conjecture to be the same as that found to the north of the city 
of Zante. 

Cephalonia a£fords considerable materials for the botanist, and in 
the Appendix will be found a catalogue of most of the officinal 
plants which are met with in the island. That species of oak (the 
quercus agilops) which produces the Valani, or Valonia, grows to 
some extent here, as well as in other parts of Greece, and the isles. 
The use of this acorn in dying is known, as well in the east as 
in our own country. 

While in Zante, after my return from Greece, I was on the point 
of visiting Cerigo, the most northerly of the Ionian Isles, and 
separated from the rest by the intervention of the Morea; but 
was prevented by the long continuance of south-east winds, which 


make it difficult or impossible to get round Cape Matapan. A 
tew statistical facts, however, which I obtuned respecting this isle, 
may not be unacceptable to the reader. 

The circumference of Cerigo is between 50 and 60 miles. Though 
celebrated as the ancient Cythera, and the birth-place of Helen, 
its present aspect is rodcy and sterile; and the number of inhabitants 
does not exceed nine thousand. Of this number, 165 are priests ; 
and there are said to be not fewer than 260 churches or chapels 
of different descriptions in the island. The state of education 
among ihe natives is on a very low footing : there is indeed one 
school, supported. by pubUc funds, and others of private eiAab* 
lishment, but they are ill conducted ; and, as a proof of this, it is 
said, that the inspector of the public school can neither read nor 
write- The chief products of Cerigo are com, oil, wine, raisins, 
honey, and wax ; some cotton and flax also are grown upcm the 
island ; and there is a considerable produce of cheese from the 
milk of the goats, which feed over its rocky surface. It is estimated 
that, in the year 1811, there were 16,000 sheep and goats in the 
island, about 1,300 horses, and 2,500 oxen. The number ofn[)ee* 
hives the same year was reckoned at 1,280^ producing a honey of 
very good quality. 

The only modern literary character from Cerigo, of whom I have 
heard, is Spiridion Vlandi, the author of a translation of Comeliuy 
Nepos into the Romaic ; of a prose translation of Ovid^s Meta- 
morphoses ; of an Italian and Romaic Lexicon, published in 4to. at 
Venice in 1806 ; and of a translation of the Magazdn des £nfans, 
which has already gone through some editions. I have already 
spoken of two or three authors, natives of Zante or Cephalonia; 
and may mention as another eminent literary Greek of the Ionian 
Isles, the Archbishop Nicephorus Theotoki, who was bom in Corfu, 
add died 14 years ago. His principal work was the LTOixu» 
MaOfiiAal$K» ; the materials collected from ancient and modem authors, 
and published at Moscow in 1799) under the patronage and at the 
expence of the Greek family of the Zosimades. He wrote also a 

G 2 


work on Natural Philosophy, published at Leipsic in ] 766 ; a book 
of geography for schools ; an answer to Voltaire, in defence of 
revealed religion; with several other publications of smaller im- 
portance. A valuable little work was printed at Corfu four years 
ago, containing a general scheme of instruction for the youlh of ^ 
Greece, with references to many of the more valuable works in the 
modern Greek language. * 

Some writers have described Cerigo as a volcanic country, with 
many extinct craters. I should venture to doubt the accuracy of 
this ; as all the other accounts I have received, concur in speaking 
of the limestone-rock of the island ; which is stated to be worn into 
large caves, and to exhibit very beautiful stalactitic appearances. 
If it should be the case that any part of Cerigo is volcanic, its 
productions would probably have some analogy to those of the 
volcanic isle of Santorin, from which it is not far distant. I never 
heard of any obsidian being found here; a substance which is 
likely to attract attention by its aspect. 

Cerigo, while in our possession, was garrisoned by a company of 
the 35th regiment. It was a solitary station, and perhaps the indi- 
viduals^ of this little band might think it a poor recompense, that 
they had on one side of them the mountains of Lacedemon ; on the 
other, though at a greater distance, the shores of the ancient Crete. 
Unfortunately, the piratical character of the Mainotes, who inhabit 
the opposite coast of the Morea, prevented any free communication 
with ihe continent ; and the garrison of Cerigo saw but as an object 
of landscape, that ground which lay before them, so venerable from 
the history of former ages. 

■— 1— —i^^— » n il III III I I ; I ■■■■ — 1—— ■^■^i^M^^i^wp— p*^— ^i^ii^n^. 

( 45 > 



IT had been our first design to proceed firom Zante directly to 
Athens, taking a foute across the Morea. We were induced to 
alter this plan bj the desire of visiting the singular court of Ali-Pasha, 
the vizier of Albania ; the outline of which was already known to 
me through the stanzas of Childe Harold. It was natural to wish 
for all the details of such an outline, and to seek the occasion of 
surveying a military despotism, recently erected into a sort of 
independence, and lording it over some of the finest parts of ancient 
Greece. We decided therefore upon taking a direct route to 
loannina, the capital of this new power ; a determination which, 
in its event, changed all the plan of our journey through Greece. 

We had with us, in setting out from Zante, a Greek servant, a native 
of this island. Demetrius was a young man, who already had twice 
been to Athens with English travellers, and sufiSciently understood 
all the methods of Turkish travelling ; but who unluckily spoke little 
more Italian than we at this time could of Romaic, and therefore 
lost much of his value as an interpreter. A Greek servant is, how- 
ever, indispensable in Turkey ; and in the Ionian Isles may generally 
be found a number who are ready to take this office, and especially if 
it be s^MUardos who requires their services. The English traveller, 
to whom this curiously derived epithet belongs, has been found, not 
only the most frequent visitant of Greece, but also the wealthiest and 
the most punctual in his payments, and is esteemed accordingly. 
These Semi^reeks of the isles are in some points well fitted for 
servants, being quick and lively, commonly speaking Italian, and 



being familiar in part with the usages of the west of Europe. The 
active and bustling importance they assume in this situation is very 
amusing. Demetrius had not been half a day in our service, before 
he had gone through every article in all our packages, asking the 
keys for this purpose with a simple conciseness which scarcely 
admitted of refusal. A Zantiote, who attended me in my second 
journey through Albania, was still more remarkable in the use of hia 
high prerogative ; and in all the minor circumstances of travelling I 
was obliged to submit myself in great part to his assumed power. It 
would be well if honesty were always the associate of these qualitiei, 
to which, in truth, in seems in some sort allied ; but the character of 
the Zantiote servants has never had much repute on this score ; and 
it behoves the traveller to be careful in a selection, which will much 
influence the comfort of his journey. 

We sailed from Zante on the 22d of October in an armed 
row-boat, well known in the Mediterranean under the name of a 
Scampavia. We selected this vessel, from its having a destinatioa 
in the first place to Ithaca, with money for the payment of the small 
garrison of that isle; and afterwards to Santa-Maura, the island 
which most nearly adjoins the continent of Albania. Besides the 
crew of the Scampavia, we had on board English, Corsican, and 
Calabrian soldiers, and two Capuchin friars, who were just come 
over froni Malta, to establish a school in Santa-Maura. The distance 
from Zante to the port of Ithaca is about 40 miles, in a north 
diriection. The day was sultry, and without a breath of wind ; and 
the oars of the boatmen carried us tardily along the mountainous 
eastern coast of Cephalonia, formed by ridges of limestOne-hiU 
which descend steeply to the sea. The manner of rowing the large 
boats in these seas is very different from ours ; the men standing up, 
with their faces towards the head of the vessel, and making the stroke 
from the chest, instead of to it, as is our custom* The direct 
individual force gained in thia. way appears to be less ; but it is 
perhaps as. well adapted to large boats, such as the Sparonara and 
Scampavia^ where a number of men and oars are required. 


A profound calm continued till six in the evening. At this time a 

sudden and violent Sirocco came on from the south-east^ carrying 

our vessel forwards eight or ten miles an hour ; but bringing with it, 

at the same time, all the distressing effects which characterize this 

extraordinary wind ; a sense of general oppression, a dull head-ache, 

aversion to motion, and lassitude and uneasiness in the limbs. Those 

who are strongly susceptible to electrical changes in the air, such as 

precede and attend a thunder-storm, will easily understand the 

effects of the Sirocco, as an increased degree of the sensations which 

diey then experience : and, in fact, though I am not aware that the 

opinion has been held, there are many reasons for beUeving that the 

peculiarity of the Sirocco wind is chiefly an electrical one, and not 

depending either on temperature, an undue proportion of carbonic 

acid*, the presence of minute particles bf sand, or any of the causes 

which have been generally assigned to it. That increased temperature 

is not the cause, may be inferred from the thermometer being little, if at 

all raised, by the access of the wind, and from much greater heat often 

occuring without this singularity of effect. The air of the Sirocco^ 

as it comes from the sea, is not a dry onie, but in general thick, and 

loaded with moisture ; much of which appears to be deposited where 

it passes over any considerable extent of land. I have scarcely, in 

any instance, observed this wind, in any marked degree, without 

noticing at the same time some electrical phenomena in connection 

with it; to say nothing of tl}e effects upon the body, which as mere 

sensations may perhaps be doubtfully received in evidence. In the 

present instance, off the coast of Ithaca, the sky, which had been 

obscured by the approach of evening, was suddenly kindled, as the 

wind came on, by broad flashes or gleams of electric light, which 

seemed to pervade the whole hemisphere, and at intervals were so 

* Dolomieu, to Us <« Memoire sut les Isks Ponces^** has adjoined a short treatise on the 
climate of Malta, and the Sirocco wind, in which he relates some eudiometTical experiments 
with iHtrous gas, which, if accurately made, seem to indicate that the atmosphere of the 
Sirocco contains less oxygene than the ordinary air. 


bright as to allow the reading of the smallest print. At the same 
time, I observed a mass of clouds gathering in the north-west, the 
quarter to which the wind was blowing ; and here the electrical 
appearances became peculiarly vivid, flashes of light shifting rapidly 
among the broken intervals of the clouds and near the horizon, 
assuming at times the appearance of a chain of light, which seemed 
to pass from a higher to ' a lower surface of cloud, and oflen con- 
tinued to the eye for two or three seconds. I had before observ'ed 
similar phenomena, when at Santo Stephano, on the northern coast 
of Sicily; and there, as here, taking place with a south-east or 
Sirocco wind, and producing clouds in the opposite pK)int of the 

* These phenomena, which 1 witnessed at midnight, on the 13th of September, were 
very striking. The day preceding had been dose and sultry : the thermometer at three 
o'clock P.M. 87^ or 88*, and without a breath of wind until finur P.M^ when it blew from 
the south-south-east, with some heavy clouds and a stormy aspect of sky. At eight P.M. 
there was some lightning in the north-west, and the clouds gathered in this quarter. 
Towards midnight, the appearances became very extraordinary : the moon had gone 
down, but there was a general blaze of light through the hemisphere ; and especially in 
the north-west horizon, where the flashes of lightning succeeded each other with wonderful 
rapidity and vividness. The sky on the whole was clear, except in this quarter, where a 
mass of cloud hung upon the horizon, leaving an interval, however, of 4* or 5*, and 
stretching upwards, as it appeared, nearly 30*^ towards the zenith : its outline was ragged 
and irr^ular, like that often presented by a thunder-doud. The phenomena were briefly 
the following : — For two or three minutes there was an almost unceasing succession cf 
flashes among diflerent parts of the doud; the shifting and intermingling of which, and 
the lights they threw on the sea and .^lian Isles beneath, afibrded a spectade of the 
most splendid kind. After these appearances had continued thus long, a chain or cord 
of dectriq matter (not a flash) qipeared to shoot from the dbud to the sea, across the 
interval already mentioned, and in a direction perpendicular to the horizon : this was 
not a momentary phenomenon, but continued sometimes, as I think, for n^ly four 
seconds : the light of the chain was most vivid, and its edges distinctly defined ; generally 
it shot down nearly at the same place, but I could not distinctly perceive any point of 
escend ing doud, which determined this^ No thunder attended these appearances. . 

I watdied the phenomeni^ for two hours, being at sea during this time in an open 
boat It ' seldom happened thftt five minutes elapsed without a discharge of the kin4 



These appearances, and other characters of the Sirocco wind, may^ 
I think, be best explained under the idea, that it derives its properties 
from an atmosphere highly charged with electricity. Much, how- 
ever, is yet wanting to an accurate knowledge of the subject ; and it 
would be desirable to obtain a regular series of observations, which 
might exhibit its effects on the barometer and thermometer, as well as 
describe the external phenomena attending it, the frequency and 
period of its occurrence, and its local distribution. I made, in two or 
three instances, hygrometrical observations by evaporation from the 
bulb of the thermometer, and found the qyantity of moisture in th^ 
sir to be very great ; but this was always in places where the wind 
was blowing directly from the sea, or with little intervening land; and 
it would be requisite to have a series of such remarks made Regularly, 
and in various situations *. Corresponding observations with the 
electrometer should also be given ; and it mi^t be well to examine 
the air eudiometrically . I venture to suggest these desiderata to the 
attention of those who may be resident in the Mediterranean, and dis- 
posed to examine objects of this nature. I may add further, that 
considering Malta as one of the best stations for such inquiry, I have 

described ; its .occurrence being generally preceded by an imusal rapidly and brightness 
of the flashes in the clouds; and followed by a longer interval of darkness; as if the 
dectric matter required to accumulate again, before .it was in sufficient quanti^ to renew 
these appearance. Tlie thermometer during this time stood at about 70^ 

Ax ihree in the morning a violent gust of wind came on from the east, with thick 
douds, some thunder, and heavy rain ; and the thermometer fell some degrees. During 
the following day, the wind blew strongly from the same quarter; and i|i the evening a 
mass of dark clouds appeared again in the west; not affording^ however, the qipearances 
of the preceding night, but those of a common sUnm of thunder and lightning. 

* I hiiye generally observed the Sirocco followed, or perhaps it may be said to 
go cffy with,rain« This, in its . anjalogy to the occurrence of the common thunder storm, 
may be admitted as another presumption of the electrical nature of the phenomenon. 
The Sirocco, modified in degree and frequency, may be considered to exist in every 
climate : its peculiarity in the Mediterranean admits of plausible explanation from thfe 
vidnity .and singulflr character of the great continent of Africa. 



sent some queries to a friend tliere, which I trust may procure me 
some further information on the subject. 

The Sirocco carried us rapidly forwards to the entrance of the 
great port of Ithaca. The night was now far advanced ; but the 
character of the sky at this time, and the moon, which had newly 
risen, gave a fine effect of light and shade to the steep and naked 
limestone cliffs which girt the ancient kingdom of Ulysses. What- 
ever sarcasms be thrown upon the smallness and ruggedness of this 
celebrated isle, admiration must ever be given to the spectacle of its 
port ; a deep gulph, which, from its eastern coast, very nearly traverses 
the whole breadth of the island, branching out into arms and bays, 
which are sheltered by lofly hills and promontories of rock. The 
town of Vathi, the capital of the modem Ithaca, stands at the upper 
extremity of one of these deep inlets, separated from all view of the 
sea^ and deriving a Angular aspect of seclusion from the mountains 
which seem on every side to surround it. 

We landed here a little before midnight. All the Ithacans were 
slumbering : the commandant had gone to rest, and was not to be 
disturbed ; and we wandered about the street in disconsolate mood, 
ignorant where we might obtain a lodging. A light, and the sound 
of billiard balls, at length drew us to a building, where we found two 
or three persons (not. the suitors of ancient time) occupied with great 
inte9tness in this midnight spqrt. A young man, one of the nvmber, 
accosted us with much politeness ; and learning our situation, very 
courteously invited us to his house. We accepted the offer, and had 
every reason to be satisfied with this accidental meeting. Our host, 
Fioravante Zav6, we found to be of one of the principal families of 
Ithaca, and the possessor of an independent property in the island. 
He insisted on our remaining at his house during our stay here ; and 
treated us with an attentive hospitality, which took away all irksome- 
ness from the obligation, and made our residence extremely agree- 

Ithaca is certainly a very interesting island ; and it has been for- 

ITHACA. 5]^ 

tunate in the justice done to it by the learned and accurate work of 
Sir W. GdL Following such a work, I shall (not enter into details 
either as to the scenery or antiquities of the isld ; contenting myself 
with a brid^ sketch of the observations I made on its general charac*- 
ter, during this, and a subsequent visit in 1813.* 

The extreme length of Ithaca from north to south is 17 miles ; its 
greatest breadth does not exceed four ; and at its north extremity, as 
well as in the centre of the island, where the great port traverses it, 
does not exceed half a mile. It may be regarded in feet, as a single 
narrow ridgei of limestone rock, every-where rising into rugged 
aninences, of which the loftiest are the mountains of Stephano and 
Neritos ; the former in the south part of the isle, and ascending from 
the shores of the bay of Vathi ; the latter on the ncnthem side of the 
great port. It can scarcely be said that there are a hundred yards of 
continuous level ground in the island ; and the general aspect must 
be confessed to be one of ruggedn^ss and asperity, warranting the 
expression of Cicero, that Ulysses loved his country, ^y nan quia 
larga^ sed quia mia*' Nevertheless, the scenery is rendered striking 
by the bold and broken outiine of mountains, promontories, and 
bays ; and there are points^ in Ithaca where it is even pleasing, in 
the cultivated declivity of the ridges, and die opening oiit of the 
narrow vallies towards the sea, wooded with olives, wange, and 
almond trees, or covered with vineyards. The upper part of the 
bay of Vathi, "and a valley at the upper extremity of the port, have 
this softened character, which belongs also to several other spots in 
the southern part of the island. 

The limestone of Ithaca resembles tiiat of Cephalonia^ exhibiting 
in various places a somewhat coralline appearance, but no evidence 
of its belonging to a primitive formation. The stratification of this 
rock is seen very beautiftiUy in the cliflfe which border on the great 
port, particularly near the small bay called Dexia, where the strata 


* I may remark, that the plates m Sir W. Cell's work afford, from their peculiar styl^ 
an admirable and perfect idea of the scenery of Ithaca. 

H 2 


are highly inclined. A cavern, which appears in them at the head 
of this bay, has heea regarded as the grotto of the Naiads, where 
Homer represents Ulysses to have been carried by the Pheeacian 
sailors, and laid down while asleep *. The rock of Ithaca is every- 
where near the surface; and in most of the hills of the island 
exposed to the eye in large ru^ed masses, with a very scanty 
vegetation between. There are other places, however, where the 
rocks are entirely covered with the prickly-leaved or Valonia oak, 
•the arbutus, myrtle, and other shrubs. 

The present population of Ithaca is estimated at between seven 
and eight thousand ; including in this statement the inhabitants 
of Kalamo, Atako, Kasto, and other small isles near its eastern 
coast. The principal article of produce is currants, of which nearly 
5,000 cwt. forms the average annual export from the island. A small 
quantity of oil and wine are. also exported; the latter being reputed^ 
generally the best wine of the isles. It is in appearance and flavour 
something intermediate between port and claret; nor is it customiu'y 
-to impregnate it with turpentine, as is done with the wines of con- 
tinental Greece* The produce of grain in Ithaca scarcely sufSces 
for a quarter of the year's consiunption ; but the natives are enabled 
to supply themselves from the continent, partly by their profits iii 
the currant trade ; still more perhaps by their activity in maritime 
affairs, which forms a singular feature in the population of this little , 
island. The vessels belonging to the port of Vathi are very numerous, 
and many of them of sufficient size, not only to carry on the small 
coasting commerce of the island, but also to partake in 'the general 
carrying trade of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Some 
curious instances are giv^i of the eagerness of the Ithacans to 
embark in enterprizes of this nature. 

The town of Vathi <x>ntains about 2^000 inhabitants. The appear* 
ance of the place is picturesque in approach, and does not disappoint 
the stranger when entering within it : it consists of a single street, 


* Odyss. lib. xiii. 96. 


:extending mote than a mile along the shore, and containing many 
good houses, almost all of them built of stone, and some of con- 
siderable size, A few insulated buildings are scattered over the 
rising ground behind the town, and surrounded by trees. Several 
new houses have lately been erected in the place ; a circumstance, 
however, which does not prove an increase of population, as it is 
chiefl}" at the expence of the old town of Perachora, situated incon- 
veniently on one of the ascending ridges of Mount Stephano- There 
are a few other small towns or villages in the island, of which Oxsai 
and Leuka are perhaps the most considerable. 

The population of Vathi comprizes most of the proprietors of 
Ithaca, as well as those who are more particularly engaged in trade. 
The family of Zav6, including several branches, is one of the most 
wealthy and important in the isle. We met at the house of our host 
a member of this family, who is the physician of the place, a loqua- 
cious but intelligent man, and very desirous of obtaining information 
both as to the science and politics of modern Europe. There was 
much pleasure, and at the same time singularity, in gratifying such 
a feeling in such a spot. We had the opportunity of seeing two or 
three others of the inhabitants of the place, who appeared respectable 
and well informed. 

Since Ithaca came into our possession, it has been garrisoned by 
a company of the Corsican Rangers ; and the . commandant at this 
time was a captain of the same regiment, a native, I believe, of 
Ajaccio in Corsica. It was a singular combination of circumstances, 
to see a fellow-townsman of Napoleon representing the English 
authority in the ancient kingdom of Ulysses. We found at Vathi 
an English surgeon of the 35th regiment, and his lady, who had 
been resident here for some months. They complained much of the 
solitariness and uniformity of the place. 

I was interested, in walking through the streets of Vathi, by the 
spectacle of an Ithacan school ; the preceptor, or DidaskaJoSj a 
venerable old man, with a long beard, who sat before his door, giving 
instruction to a circle of fifteen or twenty boys, each with a modem 


Greek version of the New Testament inliis hand. It was amusing 
to hear sounds familiar to the ear from the Greek of Homer and 
Thucydides, shouted out by ragged striplings, many of them not 
more than seven or eight years of age. The old. schoolmaster was 
pleased with the attention given to himself and his scholars, and 
endeavoured to rouse them to greater efforts of display; which 
here, as with boys every-where else, had simply the effect of pro* 
ducing more loudness of speech. 

The name of Ulysses, in its original, is not unknown among the 
number of modem names in Greece. One of the soldiers of Ali 
Pasha, whom I afterwards saw at loannina, celebrated for his ex- 
traordinary fleetness in running, was called Odyssephs ; a word very 
different indeed in sound from that which our English pronunciation 
gives, but written in Romaic exactly as the ancient name of the 

The identity of the island I am now describing, with the Ithaca 
of Homer, may be consid^ed, I think, as decisively ascertained. 
For a long time, indeed, the Venetian name of Val di Compare, 
and the less frequent excursions of travellers to this coast, had 
the effect of conceaUng the real name of the isle ; and while called 
Ithaca by its natives, and the Greeks at large *, the conjectures of 
scholars vrere still exercised as to the situation and character of 
this celebrated spot. More accurate local enquiry has discovered 
the truth ; and in the name of the island ; in its relative situation 
to Cephalonia, Leucadia, and the opposite continent of Greece; 
and in the medals discovered here, we have sufficient testimony that 
this is really the Ithaca intended in the poem of Homer, -f* 

Another train of evidence as to the fact, has been derived from the 
internal features of the island itself, and from the remains actually 

'* The word Theaki will frequently be heard as a corniption of the proper name of 
Ithaca ; but chiefly amon^ the lower classes. 

f A mere glance at the catalogue in the second book of the Siad» (▼. 63 1. et seq.) will 
satisfy the reader as to the fiust of the general position. More detailed proofe might be 
drawn from various parts of the Odyss^. 


existing here ; and this part of the subject is pursued with great 
ingenuity in the work of Sir W.Grell, to which I have already 
referred. In the course of two short visits to Ithaca, I examined 
most of the objects which are supposed to have relation to the 
ancient history of the isle, or the narrative of the poet. The most 
interesting of these are the ruins at Aito, often known by the name 
of the Castle of Ulysses, situated on the narrow isthmus which 
intervenes between the great port and the channel of Cephalonia. 
At the southern extremity of this isthmus, the ground ascends by 
a moderate acchvity from each sea, to an elevation of about 
200 feet ; but to the north of this hollow, the isthmus rises into a 
rugged and lofty chain of hills, on the acclivity^ and summit of 
which appear the ruins just alluded to. On the ascent of the 
hill, which is thickly covered with brush- wood, they are found as 

the remains of walls, forming different lines of enclosure, and tes- 


tifying the greatest antiquity in the rude structure of massive stones 
which compose them« Towards the summit of the hill, which may 
be about 400 feet above the sea, these walls become larger, and take 
a more definite form ; and the situation of two or three gates is 
distinctly marked. Some of the walls appear to have been designed 
to support leveb on the declivity, for the purposes of building; 
others simply as fortifications, of the place. The summit of the 
hill is interesting in the exhibition of a more regular area, with 
the remains of two large subterranean cisterns, and some appearances 
of an ancient tower: the view from this spot is one equally sin- 
gular and magnificent. Standing on a narrow ridge between two 
seas, you have, on one side, the channel and mountainous coast 
of Cephalonia; on the other, the great port of Ithaca, with its 
various branches ; in the distance, the Leucadian promontory, the 
mountains of Epirus and Acarnania, and numerous other objects of 
classical fame. The bay of Samos, and the site of the old city 
of that name, are very distinctly seen on the opposite coast of 
Cephalonia, the place whence came JTour and twenty of the suitors 
to Penelope. 


These ruins are supposed, and I believe wilh reason, to testifjr 
the site of an ancient city ; once, doubtless, the capital of the island. 
The steepness and elevation of the hill cannot be considered an 
objection to this idea; since the ruins of Mycenae, of Eleuthera, 
and other ancient cities, exhibit a similar position, adopted with 
a view to the better means of defence. The extent of the walls, 
the form of the areas they include, and the scattered vestiges 
of antient buildings, furnish an almost positive evidence in 
support of the opinion. Further confirmation has lately been 
afforded by the discovery of numerous sepulchres, at the place 
where the hill begins to rise from the hollow before-described, 
between the two seas. The opening and examination of these 
sepulchres have been attended with singular success. Besides the 
discovery of various bronze figures, utensils, and ornaments, of 
vases, lacrymalia, &c., there have been found here a number of 
gold ornaments, rings, bracelets, chains, and decorations for the 
head, most of them of very beautiful and delicate workmanship. I 
have seen one of these gold rings, which was actually , taken from 
the finger of a skeleton found in one of the tombs. Some Ithacan 
medals also have been met with here; and several marbles, with 
sepulchral inscriptions upon them *. Of the date of these tombs, 
no authentic conjecture can be formed; but, though it may be 
presumed that the city existed here at the time, it is not certain, 
or even probable, that they can be given to a period so early as 
what may be called the classical age of Ithaca. Since my return 
to England, I have learnt that the research among the sepulchres 
has been continued, and with the same successful results. The sole 

excavator is the Captain-commandant of the isle, who appears in 

— ■ — ----- — — »■ — . — — — p 

* Of these ih^als I only saw one, which had the accustomed head of Ulysses, with the 
conical cap ; on the reverse, the figure of a cock, and the word lOenciinr. The sepulchral 
inscriptions I copied ; but unfortunately have lost them. I may say from general recol- 
lection of the style of letter, &c. that they did not appear to me of the most remote an- 
tiquity. A vast number of bones are found in these sepulchres ; the caneelli in many of 
them as minutely perfect, as if they had been in the ground only a few months, 




this instance to have exercised a monopoly, to which it is doubtful 
how &r he was entitled. 

Near the place of the sepulchres^ and at the foot of the hill, is a 
well of clear water, conjectured to be the fountain which Homer 
mentions as frequented by the people of the city, and the domestics 
of the palace of Ulysses *• Admitting thus far the local application 
of the poet's narrative, we might perhaps venture to surmise that the 
palace itself occupied the summit of [the hill above, forming a 
citadel to the town on the declivity ; but conjecture is here thrown 
abroad by the remoteness of the tinie, and uncertainty as to the actual 
intention and knowledge of the poet.^ 

On the eastern coast, and near the southern extremity of the isle, 
is a perpendicular cliflF; from the foot of which, a valley or hollow, 
covered with small shrubs, descends by a rapid declivity to the shore. 
In a recess on this declivity is a fountain ; and when it is mentioned 
that the name of thjecUff is Koraka, it will scarcely fail to occur to the 
reader, that this may be the rock Korax of rhe Odyssey ; the fountain, 
that of Arethusa; and this secluded and picturesque spot, the place 
where Ulysses is represented to have met the faithful Eumaeusl* All 
this presumes a very minute local knowledge in the poet ; but such a 
knowledge it is fair to suppose that he possessed. Homer had pro- 
bably visited Ithaca ; some have even considered him a native of 
the island ; and it may readily be believed that he would select his 
localities from nature, and maintain then^ with the same exactness he 
has elsewhere displayed. 

* Odys. libp xviL v. 204, We were told in Ithaca a curious story of some learned stranger, 
who, by a supposed magical knowledge, had pointed out to the natives the spot where they 
should find this well. Previously to this time^ it is said to have been concealed by soil and 
fragments oovefing It. 

f Sir W. Cell has given a very accurate plan of the walls and other remains on the hill 
of Aito ; and maintains the conjecture that the area at the summit may have been occupied 
hy the palace of the Ithacan kings. 

i Odysp ]ib»xiT. 408, &c 



The cave in die bay of Dexia has already been nottced* I have 
never seen the rock at the northern extremity of the island, which has 
obtained the name of Homer's School, probably given it by some 
natives of Ithaca, who were desirous of more intimately connecting 
their country with the history of the poet. There are the remains of 
ancient walls and niches here, which are accurately described in the 
work of Sir W. Gen. 

On the whole, Ithaca may be considered a very interesting island, 
and well -worthy of being visited by the traveller, among the other 
scenery and vestiges of ancient Greece. The town of Vajthi^ though 
not aflfording great variety, yet would form for the time a pleasant 
and tranquil plape of r^idence ; and one by no means deficient in 
the ordinary comforts of life. The communication with Zante and 
Cephalonia is frequeiit aiough to prevent the character of complete 
seclusion from, tjie world. 

• r • 

Before quitting Ithaca, we made an arrangement with our host 
Zav6, who expressed a desire to accompany us to loannina, to w^t 
for him with this view at the town of SantarMaura. On the morning 
of the 24th, we prosecuted our voyage from Ithac^ to this place, a 
distance of nearly 30 miles. Quitting the port of Vathi, you seem as 
in a great lake ; the shores of Aoarnama, Ithaca^ and Santa*Maura 
forming its boundaries ; Calamo Atako ^, and other isles scattered 
over its surface. Following with the eye the high coasts of Santa* 
Maura, in their direction towards the south-west, we saw, or believed 
we saw, the celebrated Leucadian rock, which forms one of the points 
at this extremity of the island. The scene of Sappho's death is a lime- 
stone cliff, overhanging the sea ; not very lofty, though sufficiently so 
for the purpose to which lovers in did times applied it. 

Santa-Maura, {Atu Mav^a of the modem Greeks,) the Leucadia of 
antiquity, is an island resembling tJie Isle of Man in figure, though 

* It may be mentioned that Wheeler supposes this small isle to be the Ithaea of Homer. 


somewhat inferior in extent. It consists of a range of limestone 
mountains, which, separated from the hills of Acamania to the north, 
by afl&t peninsula and narrow strait of sea, gradually direrges from the 
main land, and is terminated by the Leucadian promontory, about 
25 miles to the south-south«west. The most elevated points in this 
mountain chain are St. Elias, Skarus, and Elatus : and I should con- 
jecture, from the distance at which it is seen, that the first of these 
must be nearly 3,0Q0 feet above the level of the sea*. In proceeding 
to the town of Santa-Maura, which stands on the peninsula at the 
north extremity, we sailed up the gradually contracting strait which 
sq>arates the island from the main land. The mountains on each side 
form a bold and broken coast, and the channel is further diversified 
by numerous small isles, which divide it into different branches. 
These isles, and particularly the largest of them, called Meganesi^ 
were long the resort of bands of pirates, who Uved by a promiscuous 
plunder on the sea an4 the adjoining shores. It has been asserted, 
&at the former governments of Santa-Maura did not discountenance 
a piracy, in the profits of which- they had some participation ; and 
it is a fact more certain than creditable, that Ali-Pasha has been 
obliged to remonstrate with the insular authorities, on the protection 
they afforded to the robbers, whom his vigorous mihtary police had 
driven from their recesses in the woods and mountains of Acamania. 
The British local government, acting with more intelligence and 
better principle, has, I believe, concerted some arrangement with 
Ali on this subject^ and the pirates of Meganesi are now scarcdy 
known but in the stories oi the boatmen who live upon these 

The coast of Santa-Maura, opposite Acamania, is the most 
populous district of the island ; and where the valUes open from 
among the mountains towards the sea, are many picturesque villages, 
surrounded by olive and orange groves. Four miles beljow the town 

■I 11 II ■' !■■■■■ .• I.. I III.!. I ■ ■ 

* Claudian veiy correctly calls this chain *^juga LeucaUs,^^ IJb. i. 174. 

1 ^ 


of Santa-Maura, the channel rapidly narrows, and becomes so 
shallow, that viesscls of more than 20 or 30 tons burden are obliged to 
remain here, and to communicate with the town by boats. Even in 
our Scampavia, we were unable to reach the shore, but transferred 
ourselves to a Monoxylonj a boat made out of a single piece of wood, 
as the name impUes ; long, narrow, -and drawing only a few inches 
water. Connected with this shallow part of the channel are numerous 
lagoons, in which salt is made by the evaporation of the sea-water. 

The town of Santa-Maura, situated on a low peninsular neck of land, 
derives its Only pleasing feature from an extensive and venerable 
wood of olives, which stretches backwards to the foot of the moun- 
tains, and through which are several fine avenues, forming the 
termination of different roads towards the town: it contains about 
5,000 inhabitants : the streets are narrow and ill-built, but the police 
of the present gov^nment has made many reforms in regard to the 
cleanliness and other internal comforts of the place : the houses, with 
few exceptions, are constriteted of wood, a precaution rendered 
necessary by the violence and frequency of the earthquakes occurring 
here. Tlie shops, which occupy the central part of the town, are 
well famished with manufactured articles, chiefly brought hither 
from Malta ; the sale of these goods not being limited to the islanders^ 
but being increased by the demand from the population of the 
opposite coasts. In the streets of Santa-Maura, the native Albanians 
are seen together with the mixed Greek and Venetian populatiouvof 
the place, — a people easily distinguished by their manly persons, the 
stateliness of their gait, and the picturesque dress of their country. 
They are not permitted, however, , to enter the island armed, a 
regulation which has been adopted in consequence of assassinations 
committed by Albanians in the very centre of the town. * 
. The peninsula on which Santa-Maura stands, stretches forwards, ia 
a semicircular form, to within 200 yards of the main land, and the 
intervening channel is so shallow, as to be fordable without difficulty. 
We have the testimony of Livy, Strabo, and other writers, that this 
channel was artificially made ; and that Leucadia, in more ancient 


times, was a* peninsula connected with the continent of Acarnani^ *. 
The period, and design of the separation are not equally explained ; 
but it may be presumed that the motive was either that of security, 
or to eflFect a passage for vessels, without the necessity of coasting 
round the island -f*. The castle of Santa-Maura stands on the shore 
of this, narrow strait, not elevated in its site, but nevertheless strong 
in its almost insular position, and only insecure on the side of the 
continent, where it is commanded by some rising ground, less than 
a quarter of a mile distant. On this eminence, our extraordinary 
neighbour, Ali-Pasha, has erected a small fortress, while by another, 
of larger size, four miles to the south, he commands that part of the 
channel which is navigable for vessels of greater burden. In their 
present state, these fortresses are ill-provided and little formidable, 
but they are capable of being rendered otherwise. 

From the town to the castle of Santa-Maura, by the semicircular 
sweep of the peninsula, is a distance of three miles ; but a shorter 
route is aflForded by a narrow stone causeway, traversing the bay in 
a direct line between the two places. This causeway, which is 
supported by 366 arches, formerly served as an aqueduct for the 
conveyance of water to the castle, and was probably a work of the 
Venetian government. 

Santa-Maura, after partaking in.all the successive fortunes of the 
Seven Isles, was captured in April 1810 by the English, after their 
previous occupation of Zante and Cephalonia. The castle, which 
was garrisoned by 800 French and Italian troops, held out for nine 
days, the blockade and bombardment being continued vigorously 
during the greater part of that time. Major Clarke, of the 35th 

* Livy, lib. xxxiii. c. 17. Homer calls it xKTnt nrit^o. 

f From the description of Livy, it would seem, as if this chamiel had beoi opened, corner 
paratively near his own time; but Strabo (lib.x.) speaks of it as the work of the Coriii- 
thians; and it is certainly more probable, that it should have been ma4e at the period 
when that enterprizing people were establishing their colonies upon this coast. The name 
of Dioryctus, as appears from Pliny and Pdybms^ was given to this artificial strait. 


regiment, fell in this siege, and was buried within the fortress. A 
marble tomb-stone, erected by the officers of the r^ment, records at 
once his merits and his fate. The garrison of Santa^Maura con- 
sisted, when I was there, of a few companies of the 35lh, and of five 
or six hundred men of the Corsican Rangers, a force sufficient to 
guard the place against any sudden attack, either from Corfu or the 
Italian coast. The strength of the castle has been much increased 
since the English obtained possession of it ; and these improvements 
are still progressive. 

During our stay at Santa-Maura, we were hospitably entertained 
by Lieutenant-Colonel Macombe, of the Corsican Rangers, who held 
the principal civil and military authority of the island. The local 
government is composed as at Zante and :Cephalonia ; and, as in 
those isles, the English authority has had l)ie eflfect of giving an 
increase both of vigour and integrity to the administration of justice. 
The Venetian provincial government was not less corrupt here than 
elsewhere, and its effects were equally marked in the frequency of 
crime, in the feebleness of law, and in the general want of social 
virtue among the people. When I was a second time at Santa- 
Maura, in the spring of 1813, a man, of some wealth and consider* 
ation, suffered death for the crime of murdering his nephew, under 
circumstances of great atrocity. For eight previous assassinations, 
this individual had procured an exemption in the corrupt adminis- 
tration of the laws. At the time of his final arrest, much effort was 
made by bribery to obtain his escape, and his punishment seemed to 
create at least as much surprize as satisfaction in the people of 

The population of this island does not exceed 18,000 souls. Its 
trade, which has been somewhat increasing of late, consists chiefly in 
the export of salt, of which between five and six thousand tons are 

said to be annually made in the island : oil and wine are the other 


principal exports ; the annual produce of the former being estimated 

at about 3,000 barrels ; of the latter, at 1,000. The island may be 

said 9.1so to traffic in manual labour, as a great number of the 



peasants pass over every year to the southern parts of Albania, to 
assist in the cultivation of the land; for which service they are 
chiefly paid in produce. The cattle and grain required for the 
consumption g£ the island, are drawn almost entirely from the 
continent. The other imports are chiefly of doth, sugar, cofiee, 
hardware, and other manufactured articles, but all in very trifling 
quantity. The. revenue of Santa-Maura varies at present from 
30,000 to 34,000 dollars per annum, which leaves some surplus, afl«r 
paying the civil expences of the island. 

The society in the town of Santa-Maura is of the most limited kind. 
The number of well-educated natives is small, and the habits of the 
place are not yet formed for the refinements of sopial intercourse. 
One of the most intelligent inhabitants is Signore Zambelli, a young 
man who has studied in Italy, and attaching himself to the law, 
has acquired as much fame in his profession as the narrow sphere 
of Santa-Maura will allow. He is, moreover, an antiquarian, a 
collector of coins, and the husband of the handsomest woman in the 
island. This gentleman, when I first saw him, expressed to me his 
wishes that some researches might be made among the ruins of an 
ancient city, about two miles to the south of the modem town, which 
ruins have been supposed to be those of Neritos, one of the three 
cities of ancient Leucadia. When a second time at Santa-Maura, 
I learnt that researches had actually been made there in the interval, 
but without obtaining any valuable results. In its present state, this 
spot exhibits the remains of massive walls, of the old Greek structure, 
ascending and surrounding the summit cJf a narrow ridge of hill 
near the sea, and of numerous sepulchres which appear among the 
vineyards that cover its declivity. Though the description of Livy 
is not entirely applicable to the present appearances of the flat 
peninsula at the north extremity of Santa-Maura; yet I cannot 
doubt that these remains testify the site of the ancient fortress and 
city of Leucas, or Neritos, which was taken by the Romans during 
the war with Philip of Macedon. The low land, exposed on each 
side to the action of the sea, may be supposed, in a period of nearly 


2»000 years, to have undergone some change in position or extent*- 
AW other circumstances in the description of Livy are perfectly 
stpplicable to the ruins near the town of Santa^Maura ; and from his 
narrative we may further collect, that this city was the principal 
place of Acamania, where the people of this regiob assembled to hold 
their public councils.*!' 

* Pliny notices such changes from the accumulation of sand about the Dioryctus or 
Strait, lib. iv. c. i. In mentioning Leucas and Neritos as the same place, I am aware 
that Strabo speaks of the former as established by the Corinthians, nearer to the strait than 
Neritos or Nericus ; but though the ruins, described above, are certainly at some distance 
from the narrowest part of the channel, the description of Livy is so applicable to their 
situation, that I can scarcely doubt that this was the Leucas besi^ed by the Romans 
under Flaminius. 

f Livy, lib. xxxiii. c. 1 7. 

( 65 ) 



/^UR Ithacan host, Zay6, having joined us according to his 
^^ appointment, we left Santa-Maura on the 27th for Prevesa, 
the first to>vn on this side in the territories of the Vizier of Albania. 
The distance not exceeding 14 miles, we performed this passa^ 
in a small boat, with which, notwithstanding, we had some difficulty 
in making our way through the very shallow channel separating 
the island from the main land^ This channel, progressively widening, 
is continued for two or three miles beyond the castle of Santa* 
Maura. Near the place where it opens into the sea, a small river 
descends on the Acamanian side from a circular lake near the 
coast, in the neighbourhood of which was perhaps situated the 
Thyrium of antiquity *. Our approach to Prevesa was interesting 
to me in the exhibition of an oriental spectacle, the first which had yet * 
been placed before my eyes. On the shares of the sea^ and of that sea 
where the fortunes of Marc Antony yielded to those of Augustus, 
a large and splendid seraglio is now rising up to grace the dignity 
of the modern ruler of Epirus. The deeply projecting roofe, the 
long and uniform rows of windows in the upper part of the 
building, and the painted decorations of its exterior, were the most 
striking circumstances in the distant view of this place, which, 
though deviating from all our accustomed rules of architecture, had 
nevertheless something of irregular magnificence in its extent and 

proportions, which arrested the attention, and gratified the fancy. 

^^^ • • 

^ Cjoeron. Vix xvi. qpist, 5. 



The town of Prevesa is situated on the northern shore of the 
strait which connects the giiif of Arta with the Ionian Sea. Once 
populous and commercial, it has in later times suffered a change 
both in its population and its fortunes. The origin of the place 
is not perfectly ascertained, but was probably a consequence of 
this important situation at the mouth of the gulph ; and the same 
circumstance doubtless led the Venetians to make those repeated 
attempts against it, which ended in its final conquest from the 
Turks. The military events of 1797 enabled France to obtain, by 
treaty, all .the> yenetian possessions in the Ionian seas; and the 
ccmtinental : tow|is of Prevesaj^ Vonitsja, Parga, and Butrinto, were 
ganisoned by French troops. The war, however, which soon aftof 
wards broke out between France and Turkey, afforded to AH Pasha 
a pretext for aggrandizing his territory, and obtaining a port which 
is of great impottance :to the commerce of his. dominions. In 
November 1798t ^ brought down from loannina, an army of a 
few thousand Albanians, ^ with the design of attacking . Prevesa. 
ThdiFriMich^rrison, which did riot amouat to 1,000 men, com* 
manded. by General La Salsette, niet him in the plains of Nicopolis, 
to the north oi[ Prevesa^ and an unequal battle wiEi$. fought amidst 
th© ruins of the city of Augustus. The French, compelled to yields 
were piirsued into the town with great slaughter. Many of the 
Greek inhabitants of Preveaa were involved in tl^ same destruction ; 
and it has been told me, that the h^ads of the latter, : afltor their 
mustacliios had been taken off, were sent. to Constantiliople, with 
the pretence that they belonged to Freachmeix who perished in the 

This act of Ali Pasha, attended as it was by certain circum^tancei 
of treachery, will not speedily pass away from the memory or 
feelings of the French. It has carefiilly been recorded by M. Pou-^ 
qufeville, the French minister at loannina ; and in a French military: 
dictionary, lately published, I have observed that as much detail 
is given of the action of Prevesa as of the battles of Marengo 
or Austerlitz ; and accompaiiied by the mosrt bitter invectives against 



^e character ietnd conduct of Ali Pasha. I lULve conversed on ihe 
subject with Mouctar Pasha, the eldest son of Ali, who was present, 
and bore axonspicuous part in the battle. He reitiarked to me, 
that the feebleness of the French resistance afforded him less 
opportunity of signalizing himself than he had desired ; a statement 
which does not well accord with, the account the French have given 
of the gallantry of their office's and men on this occasion. 

At the time of this event, Frevesa is said to have contained 
10 or 12,000 people. The conduct which Ali Fasha has pursued 
with regard to this place, is singular and apparently inconsistent. 
Desirous, as it would seem, of keeping up the commercial iiliportanee 
of the place, and of making it a frequent residence of his court, he has 
nevertheless adopted measures, which has reduced the population to 
three or four tliousand, and substituted the Albanian peasant or 
soldier for the active and industrious Greek inhabitants: ^ It appears 
indeed to have been his studious aim to oppress and diniinish the 
latter cls^ss of population. Many are said to have perished by his 
orders when Frevesa was taken ; and the greater number of those 
who remained; have either been ruined by his exactions, or cqm- 
pelled to fly .from his power. Some ^till continue oh the spot, but 
under the influence of persecution and perpetual insecurity. The 
only explanation of the Viafter's conduct is, that he has regarded 
the possession of Frevesa less in a commercial view, though ob- 
viously wishing to increase itS' trade^ than as a point of refuge for 
himself and his treasures, should any political change compel him 
to evacuate the fiorthem part of his dominions. His attention has 
been earnestly directed to the fortification of the placej' in pur- 
suance of which object he has erected two fortresses at the entrance 
of the gulph, and insolated the town on the land side by a broad 
and deep moat, two miles in length, and connected at each ex*» 
tremity with the sea. The same motive, conjoined with that of 
pecuniary interest, has probably induced him to sacrifice the trading 


Greeks of Frevesa, in whom he could not confide, and to place in 
their room the hardy and faithful natives of his Albanian moun- 

K 2 


tains. Had France retained the dominion of the lily nan provinces^ 
and her extended schemes of European conquest, the possession of 
a fortified sea-port might have been of great eventual importance to 
the security of Ali. * 

We landed on the beach at Prevesa, and traverse a narrow, dirty^ 


and irregular street, to the house of the English vice-ccwasuL In its 
present state, the town consists of little more than this street, skirting 
the shore for about a mile, and of some irregular groupes of huts 
among the olive-groves, which shelter the place on the land side: 
Though in the possession of a Turkish potentate, Prevesa does not yet 
exhibit all the peculiarities of a Turkish town ; and in walking through 
it, I still recognised something of that mixed Greek and Venetian 
character which is so conm[ion throughout the Ionian Isles ; but new 
and striking figures were now added to the living scenery before 
us. The Albanian peasant or soldier, words which in this country 
seem to be almost sy nonimous, is here seen in the completeness of his 
na.tional character and costume. Generally masculine in his person; 
haying features which shew him not subdued into the tameness 
of slavery, and with a singular stateliness of his walk and car- 
riage, the manner of his dress adds to these peculiarities, ^nd renders 
the whole figure more striking and picturesque than any other with 
which I am acquainted » To an eye not then accustomed to note 
minute differences, where all was new and imposing, the most 
remarkable appearances in this costume were the external mantle, 
falling loosely over the shoulders, and reaching down behind as 
far as the knees, made of a coarse brown woollett^stuff, but bor- 
dered and variously figured with red-coloured threads; — the two 
vests, the Outer one open, descending to the waist, and occasionally 
made, of green or purple velvet ; the inner vest laced in the middle, 
and richly figured ; — a broad sash or belt around the waist, in which 

* It is an interesting fiu^t^ that among all the changes that have taken place in the 
populatioii and prosperity of Ptevesa, a school has survived that was established here^ 
about 25 years ago, by the enlightened liberality of Mr. Nortiu » ' 



ate fixed one, or sometimes two, blunderbusses and a large knife ; the 
handles of the blunderbusses often of great length, and curiously 
worked in silver ; — a coarse cotton shirt coming from beneath the 
belt, and falling down a short way below the knees, in the manner of 
the Scotch kilt, covering the drawers, which are also of cotton ; *— the 
long sabre ; — the circular greaves of worked metal, protecting' the 
knees and ancles ; — the variously coloured stockings and sandals ; -— r 
the small red cap, which just covers the crown of the head, from 
underneath which the hair flows in great profusion behind, while in 
front it is shaved oflf, so as to leave the forehead and temples entirely 
bare. To this general description may be added the capote, or great 
cloke, one of the most striking peculiarities of the Albanese dress, -— 
a coarse, shaggy, woollen garment, with open sleeves, and a square 
flap behind, which serves occasionally as a hood, the colour some* 
times grey or white, so as to give the resemblance to a goat-skin 
thrown over the back. I will not venture to say whether this is the 
saguni of the ancients ; but unquestionably there are many points of 
resemblance in the Albanian costume to that of the Grecian and 
Roman soldier. In comparing the outlines of this national dress with 
those of other countries, I find none to resemble it so much as that of 
the Sardinian peasantry. But the comparison is greatly in favour of 
the Albanian ; and the half-naked Sard, as he is seen in the streets of 
Cagliari, is but a meagre representation of the majestic figures which 
keep guard round the palaces of Ali Pasha. 

The appearance of the Turk on his native soil, was another new 
circumstance in the streets of Prevesa ; and it is a novelty which 
forcibly engages the attention of the stranger from the west of Europe. 
Elsewhere you do but see the various forms of one species ; a diffe* 
r^ice indeed of language ; but only small and progressive varieties of 
figure, custom, and dress. But entering upon these regions, the scene, 
is suddenly shifted, and you have before your eyes a new species of 
beings, with all those gaudy appendages of oriental character and 
scenery which has so long delighted the imagination in the tales of 
the East. The uniform habits of the Turk, derived from his religion 


70 TURKS; 

and other. circumstances, render this changealmost as remarkable in 
the first Turkish town you may enter, as in those much fkrther 


removed ftom the vicinity of the European nations. It has been 
already mentioned, indeed, that Prevesa retains a mixed character of 
population ; but even here I was sensible to these strong impressions 
of novelty, and looked upon many things as a sort of magic-lanthorn 
scenery ; or as something intermediate between the pictures of fancy 
and the realities passing before me. As an instance of this, my 
memory refers me to the first sight of a Turkish mosque, lately 
erected at Prevesa ; to the cry of the Muzzein from the top of the 
Minaret, announcing the hour of prayer ; and to the spectade of the 
tm-baned Turk, graceful and dignified in his dress, and with a certain 
majestic sedateness of movement* putting aside his slippers, and 
slowly entering the place of his religious worship. For a moment 
you might forget the ignorance and prejudices of this man, and iancy 
him worthy and born to command. 

We were received with politeness by the Vice-Consul Signore 
Valentinis, and accommodated with a room in his house. He is a 
native of the country, and wears the small red Albanese cap, with the 
hair flowing loosely from behind. He accompanied us on a visit of 
compliment which we paid to the Vaivode, or Commandant of 
Prevesa, shortly after our arrival. This person resides in a part of 
that palace which has been hitherto occupied by the Vizier, during 
his different visits to Prevesa ; a large building, but ruinous in appeal"^ 
ance, and without a single appiutenance of splendour. An area sur- 
rounding it, is inclosed by a deep moat, and by high walls, with a few 
cannon mounted on thefti. We found the Vaivode encircled by no 
magnificence of state, but sitting on a grassy knoll within this area, 
with an attendance of twenty or thirty Albanian soldiers around him ; 
himself ah Albanian, and dressed in the costume of his country. We 
remained about five minutes with him, using the interpretation of the 
Vice-consul, who spoke in the Greek language ; but nothing further 
passed than a few questions and replies as to the countries firom 
which we came, and the firture plans of our journey. 


• Prom this place, we went, under the guidance of the son of our 
host, to visit the new seraglio of Prevesa. Its extent is ajread j great, 
though the. original plan of the edifice has not yet been completed. 
But the style of Turkish building is. so different from the European^ 
that while some portions of the palace have scarcely risen from the 
their foundation, others are finished, and in a habitable state. The 
basis .of the edifice is of stone, r the superstructure almost entirely of 
wood. Several of the apartments are more than 80 feet in length, 
with a breadth of about 30 feet ; and judging from the few which 
were already completed, the interior decorations will be very superb ; 
tawdry, indeed, firom the quantity and vividness of th^ colouring, and 
in other respects wanting in good taste ; but still imposing in the 
general eflfeot.. The carvingof the wo6d-work> asi in .general very -well 
done, and every part of the building is luxuriantly ornamented in 
this way. The paintings on the walls have here and there: a regular 
i^ibject of landscape, but for the most part very indifferently executed. 
A gr^at number of workmen, 'dither Greeks or Albanians, were 
occupied in the palace when we visited, it; a people miserable in 
appearance^ and miserable in reality. A groupe of ragged childr^ 
met us on our entrance^ and followed us through the different apart^ 
meats, b^g^ng ki Greek for parus^ a small Turkish coin, miade of ^, 
base silver, fbrty of which are equal to a piastife, or nearly equiyalpnt 
to a shilling. J was inforoied thatth^se workmjen are drawn together 
firoiii different districts by the arbitrary mandate of the Vizier, ^nd 
that each district is. compelled ta- support its a)ntingent by a certain 
allowance of Indian corn^ amounting to about 2i lbs. per d^y for 
each individual. When completed, this palace will be surrounded 
by the waters of the sea, iwhich are. already conducted by a tupnel 
under the building, almost to its.centre^ In the ptepin<:its of jjlus 
place, I observed, ginowinga* considerable quantity of the ruimm 
commum. ' The cmnmerce^ of Prevesa, excepting the produce of oil 
and com in the district behind the towii, depends entirely on that of 
Arta and the interior of the gulph ; and I shall therefore omit speaking 
of it for the present. • ....;. 


The cdebraled battle of Actium was fought at the entrance of the 
the gulph of Arta, immediately opposite to Prevesa; and to com* 
memorate an event which made him master of the Roman world, 
Augustus founded Nicopolis, the city of victory, on an isthmus con- 
necting the peninsula of Prevesa with the main land, and dividing the 
waters of the gulph from those of the Ionian Sea. We occupied the 
morning of the 28th in visiting the ruins of this city, accomp^ied 
by an Ithacan friend, and by the son of the Vice-Consul. Tlie dis- 
tance of the ruins from Prevesa is about three miles ; the road thither 
chiefly through the olive woods which occupy the greater part of this 
small peninsula. The isthmus on which NicopoUs stood, is, in its 
narrowest point, little more than a mile across, and for the most part, 
on a low level, though beyond it a ridge of hill rises rapidly to the 
north. The ruins are extensive, and though only one or two features 
in them are singly magnificent, yet in their situation, and in the 
groupes which they form to the eye, there is something venerable and 
imposing. The style of architecture, as might be expected from the 
(Migin of Nicopolis, is entirely Roman ; and in all the remains, the- 
principal material is the Roman brick, with thick intervening layers 
of mortar, indurated into perfect stone. The most remarkable 
objects among the ruins are a portion of the .great wall of the city, 
with several large archways underneath it; two theatres; the sta- 
dium ; an aqueduct ; an edifice, which may probably have been the . 
public baths of the city ; and another large building, in which has 
been found a marble pavement, several marble steps, perhaps those of 
a portico, and the fragments of some Corinthian colmnns. Of the^two 
theatres, the finest is that situated on the rising ground to the north of 
the city, near the shore of the Ambracian gulph. It is on a large 
scale ; and in its general structure and proportionate dimensions, . 
much resembling the great theatre at Tauromina in Sicily. The 
view from it, though fine, is not, however, comparable to that from . 
the Sicilian theatre. But this is too much to require : it is doing no 
injustice to any landscape, to say that it is inferior to the magnificent 
scenery of Tauromina. ^ 



The stadium is closely adjoining to this theatre, and its area 
perfectly distinct*. In the other theatre, which is of smaller 
dimensions, the corridors are tolerably perfect, and the cavea very 
distinct, but the vomit oria nearly obliterated. The course of the 
great aqueduct of Nicopolis is marked by the now insulated masses 
of masonry-work, which formed its supporters, stretching in a long 
line over the plain. This was a work at once laborious and splendid, 
the water being brought to the city from near the sources of the 
river Luro, a distance, as I have been informed, of about 16 miles. 
The edifice which I conceive to have been the baths of Nicopolis, 
though our guide assured us that it was the ruin of a church, is 
situated directly in the line of this aqueduct ; and on a second 
examination of the spot, in the spring of 1813, I found the channel, 
which conveyed the water from its higher level in the aqueduct to 
the lower parts of the building. On this basement level are the 
remains of several parallel pipes, or channels, accurately worked in 
marble, with others traversing these at right-angles, evidently intended 
for the conveyance of water to different compartments of the building. 
Many of these channeled marbles, as well as the fragments of 
marble columns, have been taken away by the orders of Ali Pasha, 
and applied to different purposes in the construction of his Seraglio 

* Strabo speaks of a gymnasium and stadium at Nicopolis, situated in a grove in the 
suburbs of the dly, and states that quinquennial games were instituted here by Augustus. 
Some writers, both ancient and modem, have supposed that the promontory of Actium 
was the scene of these games, but it seems to me certain that they were held in Nicopolis 
itself; and it is probable that the confusion has arisen, from the circumstance that Acdan 
games were actually celebrated on the promontory, before the period of the great battle 
which signalized this spot The description of Strabo very accurately applies to the theatre 
and stadium cm the north side of the ruins of Nicopolis. He further mentions a temple of 
ApoUo on the hill above the grove, where were the stadium and gymnasium ; and as we 
know that therie was a larger temple of this deity on the promontory at Actium, it seems 
probable that Augustus erected this smaller one, to attest his gradtude to the god who 
presided over the place of his victory. Dio Cassius mentions this temple, (lib. li.,) and calls 

it VXOU^^W»0 X 


at Prevesa. The dimensions of this building are large ; and the 
niches for statues, the loftiness of the passages and collateral apart- 
ments, and the width of the great entrance, shew that the edifice was 
one of considerable splendour. 

Sepulchres are found in different parts of the ruins of Nicopolis, 
and some of these have been opened with a view to discovery. Near 
an archway, in the great wall, I found a Greek sepulchral stone 
half buried under ground, on which, with difficulty, I made out a 
few words, — the simple record of the death of " the sweet mother 
JEliale^ and her sweet young datighter" The addition of the word 
Xcu^iji or farewell^ probably completed the inscription ; but this was 
hidden by the position of the stone. There is something of pathos 
in the brief simplicity of these ancient sepulchral inscriptions, which 
in vain we seek to rival by the verbose panegyrics on the tombs of 
our own times. 

Amidst the briars and shrubs which ccy^er the greater part of the 
plains of Nicopolis, a few spots are occupied in tillage, and we 
stopped a short time with the peasants whom we found engaged in 
their labours. They proffered us for sale many copper, and a few 
silver coins, found in ploughing the soil, but they were of the Roman 
emperors, and of little rarity. The site of Nicopolis is now called 
the Palaio-Kastro^ a name of obvious origin, and very generally 
applied in Greece to the vestiges of ancient walls, or other remains 
of antiquity. From different devated points among the ruins, there 
are striking views of the shores of the Ionian Sea, terminated to the 
south by the mountains of Santa-Maura, extending towards the north 
to Porto Fanari and Parga, and comprehending the isles of Paxo 
and Anti-Paxo, which are considered as one of the members of the 
Sept-Insular commonwealth. The ancient port of Comarus, on the 
Ionian Sea, is also distinctly seen, described by Dio Cassius as one 
extremity of the walls built by Augustus to defend his camp, before 
the battle of Actium. The camp itself was placed on the ridge of 
hill to the north of the isthmus.* 

* Dion. Cas. lib. 1. 


The city of Nicopolis, artificially created by a forced assemblage 
of {)opulation, drawn from various tOMrns of iBtoUa and AcarnaDia, 
survived but a very few centuries die death of its victorious 
founder *• We learn that its spl^idour gradually decayed ; and at 
the close of the fourth century, it appears to have been in great 
measure destroyed by the Goths, at a time when the degiaded 
dignity of the empire allowed to Alaric a military command in these 

Returning to Prevesa, we did but continue there until a boat was 
provided to carry us up the gulph of Arta to Salaora, it being our 
design to proceed to loannina by the way of Arta, a route of some- 
what more that sixty miles. From Prevesa to Arta there is another 
road, by the village of Luro, entirely ov(»land ; but for various 
reasons we decided on proceeding by water up the gulph. The 
entrance to tfiis extensive arm of the sea continues to be very narrow 
for two or three miles, and the shallowness of liie water at its mout^ 
prevents the access of vessels of large tonnage. This narrow strait 
derives a singular semicircular course, fi'om the projection of a long 
neck of land on the south side, celebrated in history as the promontory 
of Actium-f*. It has been made a question in what exact place the 
great *naval battle was fought, which, from its momentous conse* 
quences, has given so much reputation to this spot. The description 
'Plutarch affords us of the engagement, is the most minute ; and from 
different circimistances in his narrative, I think it may be inferred 
that the contest between the two fleets took place in the whole ext^it 
of the strait which winds round the low promontory of Actium, but 
principally perhaps on the outside of this promontory, and in the 
channel which now forms the harbour of Prevesa. I infer the 
latter circumstance from the feet that the battle was delayed four 

8 an apology for this act of Augustus, in stating 
deserting Uie cities from which he drew the pc^uli 
. iv. c. 8. Thucyd lib. i., Strabo^ lib. x. 

L 2 


days from the sea running too high, which could scarcely have 
happened in the inner part of the strait, and also from the eflfort of 
Augustus to draw the ships of Antony into the open sea, and thereby 
to attack them with greater success. That the engagement, however, 
could not have been limited to a small space, is perfectly obvious, as 
about 700 vessels were occupied in this contest, and those of Antonj- 
were many of them of eight and ten banks of oars. It is a remarkable 
circumstance that the wind appears to have changed during the 
battle, and that this change of wind enabled Cleopatra, with her 
Egyptian gallies, to fly from the combat. Had this not happened, 
Antony might have remained with his legions, and the series of 
succeeding events might possibly have been changed to the world.* 

No vestiges of the ancient temple of Apollo remain on the pro- 
montory of Actium. On the low ground, however, near the extremity 
of thi^ neck of land, are the considerable ruins of a Roman wall, 
which possibly may have had some reference to the games formerly 
celebrated on this spot, and which, it appears, were transferred to 
Nicopolis after the creation of that city by Augustus. 

Beyond Actium we found the channel gradually to expand, and 
soon afterwards the whole breadth of the gulph of Arta opened out 
before us : a noble sheet of water, more than 30 miles in length, and 
varying from four to eight or ten miles in width, with a magnificent 
boundary of mountains through the whole extent of its circum- 
ference, not indeed rising immediately from the water, but elevated 
by successive ridges to heights, some of which had already received 
the first snows of winter^i^. The most conspicuous feature in this moun- 
tain scenery was a part of the vast chain of Pindus, first seen in 

* See Plutarch, in vit. Antonii. *^ The change m the wind is not directly mentioned, but 
as it blew from the sea at the commencement of the battle, and as Cleopatra is afterwards 
said to have fled with a &vourable wind towards the Peloponnesus, it may be presumed 
that such a change did actually occur. 

f. Pliny makes the dimensions of the gulph more considerable. ^^An^radcus sinus^ 
longitudmis XXXIX.MP., UUiiudinis XV:' Lib. iv. cap. i. 


some remote summits towards the north, which might be traced 
southwards to the great; and precipitous mountain of Tzumerka, and 
afterwards might be followed by the eye in a south-easterly direction 
along the ridge of Makronoro, and other more distant mountain 
summits. Of the more immediate shores of the gulf, the southern, or 
that of Acarnania, is most striking. This coast is high, is finely broken 
by alternate bays apd promontories, and clothed with rich and exten- 
sive woods. At the head of one of these deep bays stands the town 
of Vonitza, surmounted by the ruins of an old castle, a place which 
has partaken in all the fortunes of Prevesa, and has now alike declined 
from its former state. This country, to the south of the gulph, the 
Acarnania of the ancients, is now generally known by the name of 
Karlili. The northern shore is formed for many miles by the great 
plains of Arta ; the city of this name standing on these plains, at 
the distance of about nine miles from the sea. The river of Arta, the 
Aractus of antiquity, after breaking from its narrow channel among 
the mountains to the north of the city, pursues a winding course 
through the plains, and enters the gulph near their eastern boundary. 
This arm of the sea is well known to have been the Ambracian 
gulph of the ancients, so named from Ambracia, the principal city on 
its shore. This city, which was founded by a colony of Corinthians; 
took an important part in some of the early events of the Pelopon- 
nesian war ; afterwards became the royal residence of Pyrrhus, by 
whom it was greatly embellished ; was successively besieged and taken 
by the last Philip of Macedon and the Romans, and finally lost in 
the annexation of its inhabitants to the new city of Nicopolis. 
Though much is said regarding Ambracia in the histories of 
Thucydides^ Polybius, and Livy, as well as by the ancient geogra- 
phers, yet some doubt has existed as to the precise situation of the 
city. That it was on the north side of the gulph, and very near 
the river Aracthus, may, I think, be inferred with certainty from these 
writers ; notwithstanding that a modern village, with the name of 
Ambrakia, is found at the south-east extremity of the gulph. Several 
recent authors have placed it on, or in the vicinity of, the present 


city of Arta ; and there is perhaps some plausibihty in this opinion^ 
though it must be noticed that others have given it a situation nearer 
to the spot where the Aracthus now enters the gulph. 

The regularity of the winds in the gulph of Arta is worthy of 
remark. Very uniformly they blow outwards, or from some easterly 
point, in the early part of the day ; and about noon are changed 
into a sea breeze, which continues till night. During three several 
visits to Prevesa, I remarked only one or two exceptions to this rule ; 
and I may add, that a circumstance stated by Plutarch, in his 
narrative of the battle of Actium, renders it probable that the same 
regularity existed at that remote period. How uniform is nature 
amidst the many changes of men and nations ! 

After a pleasant passage of three hours from Prevesa, we landed 
at Salaora, a small groupe of buildings, situated on a peninsula on 
the northern shore of the gulph. This is the Scahj or i^ipping- 
place, of Arta ; and a certain number of vessels are generally lying 
here, either discharging goods for land-<;arriage, or taking-in produce, 
which is brought down from the interior; the carriage in both 
cases being performed entirely by horses. A dogana^ or custom- 
house, is established here,' at present under the direction of a Jew. 
The principal building at Salaora is a small palace of the Vizier's^ 
employed as a place of occasional repose when he is travelling 
between loannina and Prevesa. In> this edifice, which has no 
other splendour than that of situation, we obtained permission to 
pass the night, in consequence of the recommendations we had 
brought with us. We entered through a dirty outer-court, and, 
passing by an old Turk, who was sitting on the ground, came 
into the first apartment of the palace ; neither more nor less than a 
stable, with half a dozen horses feeding in it. A wooden staircase 
conducted us to a broad wooden gallery, open in front, occupying, 
as is common in Turkish houses, a great part of this first floor of 
the building. The habitable rooms form wings to the central gallery ; 
but two apartments only are fitted up for the reception of the Vizier 
and his great officers. These we were not permitted to occupy ; but 


were conveyed to a large square room, with iron grates in lieu of 
windows, the wood forming the walls, unpainted, and no furniture 
of any description save three straw-mattrasses. With some dif- 
ficulty, our servant Demetrius procured a few sticks to kindle a fire 
on the hearth, and with still more difficulty obtained the materials 
for our evening-meal, While this was going on, I was attracted by 
the appearance of a light in an adjoining apartment, and entering 
it, saw a tall and rugged Alfeanese soldier, stretched at full length 
by the embers of a declining fire, sleeping profoundly ; his fusil, his 
blunderbusses, and sabre lying beside him. There was something in 
the scene which almost awakened a fear, lest the man should sud^ 
denly awake while a stranger was thus gazing upon him. 

In the evening we were drawn by the sound of music, to one 
of the furnished apartments at the other end of the palace ; we 
found there a singular groupe of people, two or three Jews who 
had just arrived from loannina, some Albanian officers, and ten 
or twelve soldiers and attendants of the same nation. We learnt 
that the Jews were persons employed in furnishing the palaces of 
Ali Pasha, and that they were now on their way to Prevesa, to 
prepare for the reception of the Vizier, who was. expected there 
in the course of a few weeks. They invited us to enter the apart- 
ment, and we seated ourselves on the divans beside them. Wine, 
impregnated with turpentine, as is the^ custom in every part of 
continental Greece, was handed to us by an Albanian soldier, and 
succeeded by coffee and Turkish pipes. Mean-while the music, 
which had been arrested for a short time by our entrance, was 
again resumed. The national airs of Albania were sung by two 
natives, accompanied by the violin, the pipe, and tambourine; the 
songs, which were chiefly of a martial nature, were often delivered 
in a sort of alternate response by the two voices, and in a style of 
music bearing the mixed character of simplicity and wildness. 
The pipe ^Thich was extremely «| and harsh, appeared to regulate 
the pauses of the voice ; and upon these pauses, which were very 
long and accurately measured, much of the harmony seemed to 


depend. The cadence, too, was singularly lengthened in these airs, 
and its frequent occurrence at each one of the pauses gave great 
additional wildness to the music. An Albanese dance followed, ex- 
ceeding in strange uncouthness what might be expected from a North 
American savage: it was performed by a single person, the pipe 
and tambourine accompanying his movements. He threw back his 
long hair in wild disorder, closed his eyes, and unceasingly for ten 
minutes went through all the most violent and unnatural postures; 
sometimes strongly contorting his body to one side, then throwing 
himself on his knees for a few seconds ; sometimes whirling rapidly 
round, at other times again casting his arms violently about his 
head. If at any moment his efforts appeared to languish, the in- 
creasing loudness of the pipe summoned him to fresh exertion, and 
he did not cease till apparently exhausted by fatigue When the 
entertainment was over, the musicians and dancer followed us to 
our apartment, to seek some recompence for their labours. 

This national dance of the Albanians, the Albanitiko as it is 
generally called, is very often performed by two persons; I will 
not pretend to say how far it resembles, or is derived from, the 
ancient Pyrrhic, but the suggestion of its similarity could not fail to 
occur, in observing the strange and outrageous contortions which 
form the peculiar character of this entertainment. 

On the morning of the 29th, finding it impossible to procure 
more than two horses to qarry our luggage, we decided on 
walking to Arta, which is about ten or twelve miles distant. This 
determination was very unpleasant to our friend Zav6, whom we 
did not find to possess all the strength and resolution of his 
great Ithacan ancestor. Afler having advanced but a few miles, 
he pleaded fatigue, and availed himself of the horse of a peasant 
whom we overtook on the road, to procure an exemption from this 
unaccustomed labour. The first part of the route from Salaora is 
over a broad stone-causeway,' which traverses the extensive lagoons 
on this shore of the gulph. Several circumstances seem to indicate 
that the plains are here gradually gaining on the sea ; and I think 



it probable^ that the peninsula of Salaora was once entirely detached 
from the land*. After leaving the causeway, we continued to 
traverse, for some distance, the low swampy district through which 
the river Luro flows into the gulph, which part of the plains is 
entirely occupied as pasture land. As we receded further from the 
sea, their' aspect gradually became more luxuriant and fertile, and 
after passing the small village of Aresa, belonging to Mouctar Pasl;ia, 
the eldest son of the Vizier, we found ourselves in a Qouatry glowing 
with richness and beduty. The plain of Arta is in fact one of the 
most fertile districts of Albania, and, notwithstanding many de- 
ficiencies of culture, teems with a luxuriant and^rofitable vegetation. 
The ^eater part is occupied as pasture land ; a large portion also 
is devoted to the culture of Jndiam com, wheat, rice, and tobacco ; 
while in the vicinity of Arta, the vineyards are immerous, and the 
orange and iig tree are made objects of peculiar ajtention. The 
population of this plain its of a very fluctuating kind, and several 
villages appear in different parts of it, which are appropri<U;ed to the 
peasants of Santa-Maura and Cephalonia, who come over to assist 
in the labours of the tillage and harvest* 

The road from Salaora to Arta is at present in a very bad state; but 
about two miles from, the latter place, we came upon a new road 
which the Vizier has ordered to be made across the plains, and of 
which about a mile was already completed. The construction of the 
road, directed by a Cephaloniote, is excellent : it is about 50 feet in 
width, raised in the centre, and strengthened by ribs of stone 
crossing it at regukr intervals. Prc^OTty, under a despotic govern- 
ment, is not the object of a minute attention, and therefore there are 
no deviations in the straight line of its course. Some hundred 
labourers were at work upon it when we passed by, the task-master 
standing over them with the lash in his hand. 

* Pliay particularly mentions this encroachment of the land on the northern side of the 
gulph of^Amb^acia. HisL Nat. lib. ii.. 



( 82 ) 



THE approach to Arta is beautiful. A mile from the city you 
cross the Aracdius, which forms a semi- circular sweep round it, 
by a bridge of remarkable construction. An arch, near one extremity, 
is projected to so great a height, as to render the ascent excessively 
steep ; another, near the opposite extremity, is likewise projected 
above the rest, so as to form two elevations in the passage of the 
bridge. There is a great deal of wood in the vicinity of Arta ; and its 
environs derive an additional efifect from the relative situation of the 
mountains ; which, rising a few miles to the north of the city, display 
in many places a singular abruptness of form, and a stratification of 
remarkable distinctness. A striking object m entering the place, was 
the ruin of an ancient Greek church, erected, it is said, in the time of 
Michael or Alexander Palseologus ; the five domes of which give an 
air of magnificence to the building. Near this church is a seraglio, 
occupied occasionally by the Vizier in his joumies to the coast. It 
is of the same construction as that of Salaora, but on a larger scale. 
Uncertain where to obtain a lodging in the city, we went first to 
the custom-house, where an old Turkish ofiSicer, in a very obliging 
manner, gave us directions to the habitation of a Gr«ek, who ofiSciates 
as a sort of English agent in Arta. We found him a respectable and 
civil man. He invited us into his house, and gave us sweet-meats, 
coffee, and pipes in the manner of the country, while his servants 
were seeking a lodging for us. We obtained one in a house that was 
dark, dirty, and in the last stage of decay ; but the people were 
studious to please us, and to render, their habitation as comfortable as 



4 I 




was possible. Their extreme curiosity was our principal grievance ; 
and the greater grievance, as they not only were determined to satisfy 
their own eyes, but also to fulfil the duties of friendship, in bringing 
all their acquaintance to witness the spectacle of. our sitting, eating, 
writing, and going to bed. It was a Greek family, and all these 
spectators were of the same nation. The Turk would be too haughty, 
or too indolent to shew this species of curiosity,— , nor is there indeed 
the same motive. or opportunity for its exercise, since the custom of 
the East excludes the Frank from entering as a guest the house of a 
disciple of Mahomet. All the direct offices of hospitality in Turkey 
devolve, either from inclination or necessity, upon the Greek inhabit 
tants of the country. 

On a hill in the north-eastern quarter of the city, are the remains of 
the castle of Arta, a building which exhibits the massive stones of the 
ancient Greek architecture, connected with the more superficial struc- 
ture of a Venetian,or perhaps aCatalan fortress. The ruins belonging to 
the former period clearly testify that s(»ne important place of strength 
anciaitly existed on this spot ; and there are several circumstances 
which would lead to the conjecture, that it was Ambracus, or the 
fortress which Polybius describes as overhanging the ancient city of 
Ambracia*. Whether Arta be on the site of Ambracia or not, it is 
probable that tlie situation of the modem city was determined by 
that of the fortress, |,by the vicinity of the river, and by the extent 
and fertility of the surrounding plains. We find that it was a consi- 
derable city in the fourteenth century, when the second Andronicus 
Palaeologus beseiged and took it, after a revolt of the inhabitant^ 
from his power -f-. Though declined in commercial importance since 
the Venetian establishments on this coast have been destroyed, it is 
still a place of considerable size, and possesses a valuable trade, derived 

* .Polyb. Higt lib. iv. — Ifir. Hobhouse luus considered that the distance of Arta from 
the sea is an evidence that it cannot be the ancient Ambracia ; but it must be recollected, 
that Pliny expressly mentions the feet of the sea having retired, or, as it may better be 
staled, of the land having gained several miles at the port of this^d^- Hist* Nat« lib. ij. 

f Cantacnz. Hist. Iib^% t. ^4. 

M 2 




84 A*TA I 


partly from the produce of the surrounding country, partly from be- 
ing a depot of goods for the transit commerce of the interior of 
Albania. The population of Arta exceeds 6,000; it contains six 
mosques, and twenty-four Greek churches; and the Mahomedans are 
probably in the same ratio to the Christian population of the place. 
It is the seat of a Greek bishop, under whose diocese loannina was 
formerly included, though now itself constituted an arch-episcopal see. 
Neither is it long since the city and territory of Arta formed a dis- 
tinct Pashalik under the Turkish empire, — a governmeiit, however, 
too near the ambitious Ali to be allowed an exemption from his 
rapidly-extending power. He made war upon the Pasha, subdued 
his territory, and, annexing it to his former dominions, received 
from the Porte a nominal and needless confirmation of his title to 
the conquest. 

On the evening of our arrival at Arta, we visited the Bazars of 
the city, a name appropriated to that part of every Turkish town 
where are the shops of the merchants or dealers. In Arta it is 
limited'chiefly to one street, but this of great length, and forming 
the central part of the city. The Greeks and Jews appeared to be 
the principal dealers. The shops in general are very small, but 
well provided with goods from the west of Europe; not indeed 
of the best quality, but more various in kind than I had expected 
to meet with in this place. It must ' be remarked, however, that 
there are many respectable Greek &milies in Arta, and that the 
situation and commerce of the city have always given -it an intimate 
connection with Italy and other parts of Europe. Of this commerce 
I shall mention a few particulars^ as the gulf of Arta may be 
considered the principal outlet for the southern part of Albania. 

The principal articles of export from this gulph are grain, timber, 
oil, tobacco, cotton, and wool. The grain is chiefly wlieatand Indian 
corn, of which upwards of fifty cargoes are now annually exported 
to various parts of Italy, the Ionian Isles, Malta, &c. • By a mis- 
apprehension of the principles of commercie, the sale of Corn is in 
great measure a' monopoly in the hands 9f th^ Vizier ; a circum- 


Stance wKich, I hav6 reason lo bdieve, has much interfered with 
the extension of this important branch of Albanian export. The 
forests on its southern shores supply the greater part of the timber 
which is exported from the gulph of Arta. For a considerable 
period, a French agent resided in Aria, with the important object 
of supplying timber by contract to the marine arsenals in the 
south of France; but since the death of M. Lasalle, in 1792, the 
War and other events have prevented the prosecution of this trade. 
The timber now cut is chiefly of smaller size; and of this from 20 to 
30 cargoes have of late been annually shipped from the gulph ; the 
greater number -of them to Malta, for building and fire-wood. The 
ail and tobacco exported from Arta are both reputed of very good 
quality ; the latter . b^ng diiefly brought down from the plains in 
the upper part of Albania. Of the cotton abd cotton yarn, a large pro- 
portion is conveyed hither from Thessaly ; and exported principally 
to the German and Italian ports in the Adriatic* Beside^ the 
export of' wool, there is a considerable trade in Albanian capotes^ 
the manufecture of the country, to the amount probably of 150,000 
piastres annually; 

The imports into Arla^ destined principally for transit to the 
interior of Albania, con^st of coffse, sugar, common clot^, linen, 
velv^s, gunpowder, fire^^mtns, iron-ware, with other miscellaneous 
articles. Until within the last few year^, the mercantile connections 
of the place were chiefly with Greek houses at Trieste ; and most of 
the goods imported were Of German manufacture; but the late 
political fluctuations conveyed much qf this trade to Maltese houses; 
and 'had the war continued, it i» probable that the consumption of 
British mamifactures, particularly of cloths, linen, atid hard-ware^ 
would have been considerably extended through this channel. It is 
likely ^soithat die consumption of West^India coffee, in lieu of the 
Mocha, ' nqght : hayb ^been inci^eased here by the low prices .which 
prevailed for ;8om6^feime, and the permai^nt demand thej^eby ren- 
dered moi^ extensive. 

> > .« 


We quitted Arta at noon on the SOth, having been detained some 
hours by a storm of thunder and heavy rain. Our first stage from 
Arta was to Cinque Pozzi, a distance of 20 or 22 miles, in a 
direction nearly towards the north. In Turkey there is no olher 
method of estimating distances, than by the time occupied in travel; 
and accordingly you hear of one place being distant so many hours 
from another, or of a lake being two hours in length, with other 
similar expressions. The walking rate of the horses of the country 
is chosen as the most uniform and useful method of calculating the 
time ; and this on the average may be three miles an hour, including 
all" the circumstances of stoppage, and variety of road. We had 
some difficulty in obtaining horses at Arta, but at length procured 
eight, which we engaged to carry us to loannina, at the rate of ten 
piastres, or about ten shillings for each. They were of small size 
and in rude condition, but nevertheless hardy and accustomed to 
labour. Two of the number were loaded with pur baggage, which 
was slung over the sides of a huge and awkward wooden frame or 
pack-saddle, and attached by cords. We had been careful to 
provide ourselves with European saddles, before entering upon the 
continent of Turkey ; and there was reason to congratulate ourselves 
on this precaution, in viewing the imcouth machines used by the 
peasants for this purpose, (generally nothing more than a wooden 


frame with an Albanese capote thrown over it,) or even the more 
splendid, but little less cumbrous saddles of the Turks, which are 
always fatiguing to Europeans not accustomed to this mode of riding. 
Haifa mile from Arta, we again crossed to the western bank of the 
river by a ford, which was rendered deep and dangerous in con- 
sequence of the heavy rains that had fallen at intervals for some days 
past. Closely adjoining to this ford, the minaret of a Turkish 
- mosque rises up from amidst a venerable grove of chesnut, plane, 
and cypress trees, —a spot singular in its beauty and picturesque 
character. For a few miles our route continued through the plain 
of Arta, in this place gradually narrowing ij(ito the valley of a 


HOUTfi TO aNQUE P02ZI. gy 

mountain stream, but still wonderfully fertile and luxuriant. The 
construction of the road, which was for the most part firmly^ though 
very roughly paved, might not be despised by a traveller coming 
firom Portugal and Sicily. It is the work of Ali Pasha, who in his 
efforts to improve the internal communication of the country, and 
to render travelling more easy as well as secure, has shewn an 
enlightened policy little known among the potentates of the East. 
Twenty, or even ten years ago, it was impossible to trgtverse Albania 
without much risk from the titled robbers or untitled banditti, who 
infested this region. The former have been subdued ; the latter nearly 
extirpated by a vigorous military police ; and at the present time, 
the powerful passport and protection of Ali afford the most effec- 
tual security to the traveller, throughout the whole of his extensive 

Five or six miles from Arta, the road makes a rapid ascent into the 
mountains, following the course of the stream before-mentioned. In 
our progress we met or overtook numerous cavalcades of the Alba- 
nian peasantry ; some of them with fifteen or twenty loaded horses, 
either conveying towards the sea the produce of the country, or carry- 
ing up to loannina, Maltese goods and other articles of import. The 
horses in these cavalcades were attached together by cords, one man 
on horseback generally conducting four or five of the number. 
We met also in our route vast flocks of sheep, descending firom the 
mountain districts of Albania to pass the winter in the plains; the 
shepherds attending them singularly robust in figure, and not less 
remarkable for a certain wildness of dress, countenance, and manner, 
partly national and partly derived firom their peculiar mode of life. 
In addition to these people, numerous Albanian soldiers of the Vizier 
were travelling upon the road, their loaded fusils carried transversely 
over the shoulders, their pistols and knives in the belt, the hood of 
their shaggy capotes occasionally thrown over the head, so as to shew 
indistinctly beneath, the dark and strongly featured visage, which 
might almost start the evening traveller in its aspect. Sometimes 
they addressed us with KocX^t ^^«X^Tg, a common mode of salutation in 




Greece ; but more frequently passed without speakings and even 
without any expression of curiosity at the sight of strangers. 

About eight miles from Arta, we passed the village of Kumeisathes, 
situated on a small plain among the mountains, and surrounded by 
wood. In the district belonging to this village, a considerable 
quantity of tobacco is grown, reputed to be of excellent quality. 
Beyond this place, we still continued the ascent of the mountains, 
enjoying some fine retrospective views of the plains and gulph of 
Aita. The lower part of the declivity of the hills in this stage is 
much covered with wood, chiefly the plane-^tree, and varieties of 
oak. One species of the latter tree, which I observed here, I believe 
to be the quercus cerris^ with broad, deeply-indented leaves, and a 
large acorn in a hairy cup : this tree furnishes a timber that is 
good both in size and quality. The Valonia oak (quercus orlops) 
is also abundant in this district : this tree, in general, is not of a 
large size : the acorn is deeply set in a thick and scaly cup, which is 
the part employed for the purposes of dyeing. The export of Valomia 
acorns forms a considerable branch of commerce from various parts 
of Turkey* 

At the distance of fifteen miles from Arta^ we passed the 
Seraglio of Mouliana, a l&rge edifice singularly situated among the 
mountains, where the Vizier occasionally passes the night on his 
joumies to and from the coast. It was in this seraglio that he 
received and entertained Sir John Stewart, when that officer came 
over from Sicily to survey our recent acquisitions in the Ionian Sea, 
and to visit the extraordinary political character who had thus 
become our neighbour. The reception given to the General was 
equally courteous and splendid, and the interview had probably some 
effect in strengthening the political amity which has since subsisted 
between Ali Pasha and the English government. 

The country about Mouliana, and between this' place and Cinque 
Pozzi, is open, and has much of uncultivated wildness in its character. 
The mountains among which we had been ascending in this day's 
journey, are all composed of a compact Umestone, which may be con^ 


sidered characteristic of a very large calcareous formation in Albania 
and other parts of Greece. The colour of the rock, in general, is 
nearly milk-white ; the large fracture is flat-conchoidal ; it is earthy in 
the small fracture. From examination, I do not believe it to contain 
magnesia ; but there is probably a good deal of siliceous matt^ in its 
composition. The general appearance of this limestone strikingly 
corresponds with that in the north of Ireland ; and I have seen much 
of it in Greiece, which might almost obtain, without impropriety, the 
name of chalk. The extent of the formation will afterwards be 
noticed in different localities. Speaking generally, it may be con- 
sidered to occupy the greater part of the interval between the chain 
of Pindus and the western coast of Greece; from the gulph o^ 
Corinth northwards to the ruins of ApoUonia; and probably yet 
further. I have seen it also in the Morea, and in various places to 
the east of Pindus. Its usual character, on the great scale, is that of 
forming long continuous ridges, with level vallies or plains between ; 
and this is a description of country very common both in Albania 
and in other parts of Gerece. These ridges in many places attain a 
height of from two to three thousand feet ; in some instances they 
appear to be still more elevated. The stratification of the limestone 
is in general distinct ; often very remarkably so ; the strata occasion- 
ally much inclined (as between Arta and Cinque Pbzzi), and some- 
times exhibiting very singular wavings and contortions* 

The organic remains in this rock are few and indistinct. A strik- 
ing feature in the formation is the quantity of flint it contains ; either 
in the form of nodules, or much more frequently in layers, of various 
thickness, alternating with those of Umestone. This appearance is 
common in every part of the formation. It first struck me in 
ascending the hills from Arta ; and I shall hereafter have occasion to 
notice it in various localities. I shall also speak in another place of 
the large deposits of gypsum which have taken place upon this lime- 
stbne, particularly near the coasts of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. 

We arrived at Cinque Pozzi as the shades of a cold and stormy 
^ening were drawing fast around us. The character of this spot was 



not fitted to remove any impressions of dreariness, produced by the 
time, and the temperature of the sky. A groupe of low and ill- 
constructed buildings, situated on a high level among the mountains, 
and surrounded by rocks, formed the only appearance of human 
habitation in the scenery. It was a Khan, the place of pubUc enter- 
tainment for travellers in Turke}% which we entered for the first time 
in the rude and dreary situation of Cinque Pozzi; and the impressions 
we received from the exterior were not alleviated when passing 
through its wide gates into a square court within : we were con- 
ducted into a small hovel, with bare mud walls, no windows, no 
fire, and the flooring none other than the naked earth. There werie 
unquestionably better apartments in the Khan, but these, as we 
found, were occupied by some Turks who had arrived there before 
us ; and we were not sufficiently acquainted with the habits of the 
country to obviate any incidental grievances of this nature. Signore 
Zav6 was equally ignorant as ourselves, and every thing was com- 
mitted to Demetrius, who having procured with difficulty some fire- 
wood and a small quantity of mutton, prepared a supper for us in 
our wretched apartment. We spread our beds around the embers of 
the fire, and went to sleep in spite of the songs and loud talk of some 
Albanese peasants, who were lodged in an adjoining part of the 

Cinque Pozzi, or Tlivrt TltiyaSiOi^ as the Greeks call it, is so named 
from five circular wells close to the Khan. It is the highest point 
of level which the road attains between Arta and loannina, and is 
nearly at an equal distance from each of these places. An Albanian 
officer of the Vizier's, with a few soldiers, resides at this spot for the 
purpose of guarding the pass, and of collecting a small toll. FrSto 
some barometrical observations in my possession, I have reason to 
believe that Cinque Pozzi is 1,500 or 1,600 feet above the level of the 
sea, but the landscape around it presents on almost every side moun- 
tain ranges of much greater elevation. Of these we had a magnifi- 
cent yet dreary view, when we quitted our hovel on the morning of 

the 31st. ; the storms of the night, attended by a cold which lowered 




my thermometer to 421^ at eight A.M., had covered all the loftier 
mountains with snow ; and we now saw them, under a cloudless and 
frosty sky, with a remarkable distinctness of form and outline. To 
the north-west was the extremity of the elevated range called Olitzka ; 
to the north-east, and nearer to us, the broad mountain mass said to 
be called Skrivari; between which and the precipitous range of 
Tzumerka, the river of Arta pursues its course southwards to the 
plains. To the west, looking over a profound valley which lay 
beneath us, we saw, in the distance, the lofty sumfnits of the Sali 
mountains, a region which will long be celebrated in the tales of 
Albania, as the abode of a small but warhke race, who, after long 
maintaining their ft*eedom, and struggling for many years against 
theJ power of Ali Pashs^, did but surrender their liberties with their 
lives, and became extinct as a people when they ceased to be free. 
The rest of the landscape around us was occupied by a thousand 
varieties of hill and valley, which were just beginning to derive their 
shades from the morning sun. This mountainous country to the 
west of us was the Thesprotia of former times, one of the principal 
divisions of ancient Epirus. Of the journey I made through this 
region, an account will be given in the latter part of this volume. 

We left Cinque Pozzi at eight o'clock, after several parties of Turks 
and Albanians had already quitted the Khan. The route from 
hence to loannina, a journey of six or seven hours, was extremely 
interesting. Descending for some way from the Khan, we continued 
our progress a few miles along a narrow plain, still on a high level, 
but cultivated throughout the greater part of its extent. Several 
small hamlets appeared in the landscape, though not sufficiently 
numerous or extensive to give it the appearance of a well-peopled 
country. When advanced eight or nine miles in our journey, and 
crossing another ridge of high and broken land, we were highly 
interested in a spectacle, which, by a fortunate incident, occurred to 
our notice. We met on Xhe road a community of migrating shepherds, 
a wandering people of the mountains of Albania, who in the summer 
feed their flocks in these hilly regions, and in the winter spread tfi^m-* 


over the plains in the vicinity of tl>e gulph of Arta, and along other 
parts of the coast. The many large flocks of sheep we had met the 
day before, belonged to these people, and were preceding them to the 
plains. The cavalcade we now passed through was nearly two miles 
in length, with few interruptions. The number of horses with the 
emigrants might exceed a thousand ; they were chiefly employed in 
carrying the moveable habitations, and the various goods of the 
community, which were packed with remarkable neatness and 
uniformity. The infants and smaller children were variously attached 
to the luggage, while the men, women, and elder children travelled 
for the most part on foot ; a healthy and mascuhne race of people, 
but strongly marked by the wild and uncouth exterior connected 
with their manner of life. The greater part of the men were clad in 
coarse, white woollen garments ; the females in the same material, but 
more variously coloured, and generally with some ornamented lacing 
about the breast. Their petticoats scarcely reached below the knee, 
shewing nearly the whole length of the stockings, which were made of 
woollen threads of different colours, red, orange, white, and yellow. 
Almost ali the young women and children wore upon the bead, a sort 
of chaplet, composed of piastres, paras, and other silver coins, strung 
together, and often suspended in successive rows, so as to form some- 
thing like a cap. The same coins were attached to other parts of 
the garments, and occasionally with some degree of taste. Two 
priests of the Greek church were with the emigrants, and closed the 
long line of their procession. 

These migratory tribes of shepherds are chiefly from the moun* 
tainous districts, which in their continuity form the great chain of 
Pindus, traversing the country very far from north to south, with 
many collateral branches. The people whom we now met were' 
reported to us to be of two different tribes, one of which had already 
been travelling for eight or ten days. They generally come down 
from the mountains about the latter end of October, and return 
thither from the plains in April, after disposing of a certain pro- 
portion of their sheep and horses. In travelling, they pass the night 


on the plains or open lands ; arrived at the place of their destination, 
they construct their little huts or tents of the materials they carry 
with them, assisted by the stones, straw, or earth which they find 
on the spot- Such is the simple life of the migrating shepherds of 
Albania ! 

Jlefore we had passed this long moving train, we began our descent 
into the extended plain, or series of plains, in which is situated the 
modem metropolis of this country, the capital and residence of Ali 
Pasha. It is not, however, a descent corresponding to the rise of 
level from Arta. The plain of loannina has an elevation of more 
than 1,000 feet above the sea ; and in entering it from the south, you 
do but descend for a quarter of an hour, before coming upon this 
new level of country. A short way beyond the foot of this hill, and 
the first building on the plain, is the Khan of San Demetri, where we 
stopped half an hour, while the men who . travelled with us made 
a meal on bread, goat's milk cheese, and wine. This Khan in 
appearance resembles that of Cinque Pozzi ; an arched gateway 
conducting into an area, round which is a square of low buildings, 
radely constructed, and divided into stables and apartments for 
travellers, the latter equally dark and destitute of all internal com- 
forts as the former. Nothing is to be found in these places of enters 
tainment but the simplest articles of food, fire-wood, and straw mats 
for the traveller to repose on during the night The Khan of San 
Demetri is distant about ten miles from loannina, the direction of 
the road continuing nearly from south to north. Our journey was 
now over a tract of extended plain, gradually widening as we 
advanced northwards, but Umited on each side by mountain barriers, 
so lofty and precipitous, that much of its real breadth was lost in the 
general effect of the landscape. The great chain of Pindus now 
appeared in all its majesty of height and outline, not indeed rising 
immediately from the plain, but towering behind an intermediate 
mountain range, and deriving thence still more of grandeur to the 
imagination. This formed the eastern boundary of the landscape ; 
while On the western side, the view was limited by the chain of Olitzka, 


i I 


perhaps the Cassiopean mountains of ancient times, more graceful 
and picturesque in their outline, yet majestic in height and in their 
rapid declivity towards the plain. The enjoyment of this scene was 
increased by the intense clearness of this sky, and by that peculiarity 
of sensation which health derives from a frosty temperature, a sen- 
sation which, but for a few hours on the summit of Etna, had been 
unknown to me since crossing the Bay of Biscay : contrasted with 
the enervating heats of a Portuguese or Sicilian summer, it may well 
be called a luxury of feeling. 

We advanced over the plains as rapidly as was possible from the 
nature of the road, which is here unpaved, and in many places in- 
terrupted by deep hollows and ditches. The population became 
much more considerable as we proceeded, and nmnerous villages were 
seen on the small eminences which rise out of the plain. The culture 
of the land also bore marks of improvement, and we passed over large 
tracts, chiefly occupied in the growth of Indian corn ; in which, 
though the harvest was now completed, the peasants were here and 
there still employed in gathering the ears from the ground. There 
are no inclosures in the plain, though narrow trenches traverse it in 
various directions, apparently for the purpose of distinguishing 
property. There is a deficiency of wood in the whole of the land-* 
scape ; but perhaps, as a matter of general taste, this deficiency is less 
felt where the scenery is on so vast a scale, than where more narrow 
and limited in its features. 

Knowing our vicinity to loannina, we were now impatient to 
obtain the first view of that city, which is long concealed from the 
^e by the low eminences traversing the plain. At length, when 
little more than two miles distant, the whole view opened suddenly 
before us ; a magnificent scene, and one that is still almost single 
in my recollection. A large lake spreads its waters along the base of 
a lofty and precipitous mountain, which forms the first ridge of 
Pindus oi) this side, and which, as I had afterwards reason to believe, 
attains an elevation of more than 2,500 feet above the level of the 
plain. Opposed to the highest summit of this mountain, and to a 



small island which lies at its base, a peninsula stretches forwards into 
ihe lake from its western shore, terminated by a perpendicular fece of 
rock. This peninsula forms the fortress of loannina ; a lofty wall 
is its barrier on the land side ; the waters which lie around its outer 
cliffs, reflect from their surface, the irregular yet splendid outline of 
a Turkish Seraglio, and the domes and minarets of t|wb Turkish 
mosques, environed by ancient' cypresses. The eye, receding back- 
wards from the fortress of the peninsula, reposes upon the whole 
extent of the city, as it stretches along the western borders of the 
lake. Repose, indeed, it may not unfitly be called, since both the 
reality and the fancy combine in giving to the scenery the character 
of a vast and beautiful picture spread out before ihe sight. No 
volumes of smoke, nor. even the sounds of carriages and men, break 
into this description of the distant view : the tranquillity of the Turkish 
character is conveyed to the Turkish city also, and even to the capital 
of the chief who governs the warlike and half-civilized Albanian 
tribes. You are not here looking upon a lengthened and unifoi-m 
mass of buildings, so often the only characteristic of mn European, 
town ; but there is before the eye a variety and a richness in tlie 
grouping of the objects, which is peculiarly the feature in the cities 
of the East The lofty palaces of the Vizier and of his sons, the 
minarets of numerous mosques, each surrounded by its grove of 
cypresses, which give something of appropriate sanctity to the place ; 
the singular intermixture of houses and trees throughout every part of 
the city, a circumstance more striking from the want of wood in the 
general landscape; these, together with the noble situation on the 
lake, and the magnificence of the surrounding mountains, are the 
features which will most impress the stranger in approaching the 
capital of Ali Pasha. Yet I must add, further, that the entrance to 
loannina from the south is less favourable than the approaches to 
the city from the north and west, and were it the aim of any traveller 
to seek a moment of sudden admiration, I should advise him to gain 
the road of Paramithia, which may be done by making a short 



detour on the plain, when yet two or three miles distant from the 

We reached loannina at four in the afternoon. We were provided 
with letters to the Vizier ; one of them private, the others official from 
the'government of the Ionian Isles ; and had also letters to Signore 
Colovo, the principal dragoman^ or interpreter, of his court. On the 
security of these letters, we had sent a man forwards from Cinque 
Pozzi to intimate our arrival to Colovo, and to beg that he would 
procure some place of abode for us in loannina. Not meeting this 
messenger at the spot we had appointed, we entered the city, 
and passing through streets which ill-accorded with the impression 
derived from the exterior magnificence of the place, halted at the 
dogana^ or custom-house, till we might ascertain the success of our 
application to the dragoman. The messenger arrived soon afterwards, 
brining us a polite message from Signore Colovo, to say that he had 
ahready intimated our arrival to the Vizier, who had appointed us 
a lodging in the city; and adding that he would call upon us in 
the evening, when released from his duties at the Seraglio. We were 
immediately conducted to our appointed place of residence; the 
house of Michael Metzou, one of the wealthiest and most respectable 
among the Greek inhabitants of loannina. The reception we met 
with from our host and family, was polite and hospitable. They 
conducted us to a large apartment, richly furnished according 
to the fashion of the country; and with many expressions of 
kindness, which we were yet obliged to receive through the medium 
of an interpreter, welcomed us to their house, and begged that it 
should be considered our own during the residence we made in 
loannina. The same expressions I had often heard in Sicily, where . 
they are but words of form ; here they might possibly arise from 
necessity, but there was something in the manner which assured us 
that it was otherwise, and we aft;erwards foimd that this first im-^ 
pression was not without reason. 

( 97 ) 





BEFORE proceeding with the narrative of my residence at 
loannina, I shall detain the attention of the reader by a brief 
sketch of the life and present dominion of the extraordinary man 
who governs this part of European Turkey ; and who, during the 
twenty years of confusion and warfare that have agitated the nations of 
Eturope, has been gradually augmenting his t^ritory, and giving both 
stability and independence to his power. My own information, indeed, 
does not enable me to add to the history of Ali Pasha all the details 
which might be desired by those who loyeto trace the causes and 
means of political elevation. Few written records exist of these events*, 
and the tales and songs of the country are at present almost the only 
sources: from which to obtain a knowledge of his early life and 
fortunes. His vengeance 1ms indeed affixed melandioly memorials 
to isome incidents of his past history, but the connection of occurrences 
is obscure, and his own policy has probably led to the concealment 
of many of the means which have most aided his progress. The 
oidy narrative, as far as I know, which has been composed of his 
history, is a poem of eight cantos, written by an Albanian in rude 
and untutored Romaic verse. This poem, which professes the Epic 
style, is yet in manuscript ; but it has received the approbation and 
license of the Vizi^, and directions have been given for its pub* 
lication at the press of Vienna. It will be a curious record of the 
intestine revolutions which in these later times have affected the 
ancient kingdom of Pyrrhus, and the country of Scanderl^eg. 

The creation of an independent power in the midst of its territory, 
is no new or extraordinary fact in the Turkish empire; and its 
annals exhibit many instances, more especially in the Asiatic pro- 
vinces, of the Pashas or governors throwing off their allegiance, and 
maintaining a sovereignty, which relapsed again after their death to 
the dominion of the Porte. The causes of these double revolutions 
may be found in the nature of the Turkish provincial government ; 
and their usual manner qf termination may be referred in part to 
the character of the Turkish nation, partly to the two-fold capacity 
of the Sultan, as the political ruler of the empire, and the head of the 
Mu8suln:ian religion. Though some of these partial independencies 
bavd mqrc nearly menaced the safety of the capita)^ and governta6nt, 
none of them perhaps have attained the stability and extent of 
power which dbaracteriases the .government- of Ali Pasha; nor has 
any one acquired the same importance in the political condition of 
Europe. His dominion has been derived, not from any transient 
effmrt of revolution, but from a slow- and persevering system^ of 
agnandiasement, and a policy compounded of caution and enters- 
pd^e, which has given pretence to usurpation and pel^manence ao 
conquest. While preserving, without any. sierious interraption, die 
appearances of amity with the Porte; while ^ubndizing har armies 
with his warlike Albanians, and her odflFers with his treasures ; he has 
by degrees become more fbi'midable ^to the integrity of the Turkish 
empire than those who have insulted die gates of Constantinople with 
thm armies, or hurled the reigning: Sultan from his throne. 

Before I speak furtha^ of the life or government of Ali Pasha, it may 
be wdl to prepare thfe reader by a few facts respecting ' the geneifal 
outline of Albania and its population ; the rather so, a^ this country 
and people have hitherto been compiaratively little known to the west 
of Europe* Latterly, indeed, thei valuable works of Mf.Hobhoiise, 
and Major Leake, have gready illustrated this subject; and to the 
latter work, the result of niany years' research, I should find it 
impossible to add any thing new. Referring^ the reader for details 
to its Ycpy accurate information, I shall merely give here a short 


sketch, such as may serve to illustrate the succeediQg parts of this 

Albania, as a country, cannot be defined by any strict line of 
boundary ; but it is rather det^mined in its outline by the language 
and other characters of the population. The country around loannina^ 
and even Acamania, though inhabited chiefly by Greeks, are often 
spoken of under xkm name; and at present, ^rh^i ahnexed to the 
power of an Albanian ruler, not entirely without reason. Correctly 
speaking, hpwew^er, acoordifig to the distribution of population, 
Albania occupies a tract of coast, banning by a narrow line in 
the Suli Mountains, to. the north of the gulph of Aria, and extend- 
ing northwards, with increasing but uncertain widthii to the country 
of the Montenegrins, a distance of nearly 250 miles. Following 
liiis boundary, loannina falls 20 miles to the south««ast of this* line ; 
and this distinction will be found generally recognized by the Alba* 
niansi themselves. 

The papulation of Albania, as generally happens ih hilly regions, 
and' waft remarkably the case in this country in ancient times, is 
brok^ into several tribes; which. divisioi},^from the exact manner 
in whidi it is determined amoing the natives, may be siipposed to 
have existed for a very long period*. The Gheghides, the liaptdes^ 
Liutzides^ Todddes, T^amidies, and other smaller or subordinate tribes^ 
have alldistinctions, which are >famthar to the knowledge of every 
Albanian ; who recognizes them, as well by variety of dialect, as by 
thdir several localities. Of the respective situations of some (^ them I 
shall have to speak in a succeeding part of my narrative. To ent^ 
minutely into the detail of &uch divisions, which are unknown beyottd 
the country itself, woiild be uninteresting to the reader. * 

The principal cities of Albania, exclusively of loannina and Arta, 
are Scutari, Dumzzo^ Berat, Avlona, Ochrida, Kastoria, Argyro- 

^ The Oementim, one -of the tribes in the north of Albania, are said to be descended 
Irom the Aftanians who followed the Austrian army in Turkey in 1 737. — See Adelung's 
General History of Languages. 

O 2 



Kastroy Delvino, Permeti^ Paramithia, &c. Though I have ire^ 
quently termed Ali Pasha the Vizier of Albania, it must be noticed 
that all the tract described under this name has not fallen within his 
power ; and that the city of Durazzo, together with the whole Pasha- 
lik of Scutari, belong to other authorities. Berat, Argyro-Kastro, and 
other of the places just mentioned, have only lately been annexed to 
his territory, to which they form an addition of very great poUtical 

The discovery, for such it may almost be called, of a people in the 
mountainous districts of Illyricum and Macedonia, and in some parts 
of the ancient Epirus, who were distinct in language, dress, and 
national customs, has naturally excited attention as to the source 
whence they are derived. The existence of many Latin words in the 
language, together with the name of the people, have led some to the 
idea, that a trib^, migrating from Alba in Italy, founded the city of 
Albanopolis in Illyricum ; the place from which the history and pro- 
gress of the Albanians seem to begin. From the difficulty of proving 
this, and from there being many words of unknown radical in the 
language, it has been supposed by others (though I beheve, by very 
few), that they may have been derived, through some obscure channel 
of emigration, from the Albani of Asia, mentioned by Tacitus and 
other writers, who seem to have inhabited the modem district of Shir- 


van *. Words of Greek and Gothic origin, however, also exist in the 
Albanese language; and from these several additions which have be^i 
made to a base, unknown elsewhere, it may be inferred with most 
reason, that the Albanians are directly descended from the original 
population of the country where they now dwell, and that we have 

* Masd, a Neapolitan writer, held, I believe, some idea of this kind; but I have not had 
the opportiuiity of seeing his work. I have heard an analogy referred to between the 
name of Toskides, one of the Albanian tribes, and the Toxidae, a people of Mingrelia, 
mentioned by Chardin. A vague relation of this kind cannot admit of being reajaooed 
upon. Justin (xlii.3.) speaks of the Albani of the East as having come from Italy with 


in this people a remnant of the ancient 111 jrians ; preserved to these 
later times by the mountainous character of their country, and by 
the warlike and independent habits which have always distinguished 
them. We sufficiently know from ancient authors, that the lUyrian 
language was distinct from the Greek at a very early period, and that 
the people were peculiar in their character and customs. Unless we 
have a remnant of this tongue in the Albanian, it must be supposed 
entirely lost ; while presuming it to be the basis of the modern lan- 
guage, it is easy to account for the changes and additions which time 
and the intermixture of other people have induced upon it. ♦ 

Major Leake, in his remarks on Greece, has maintained this idea 
of the Illyrian descent of the Albanians ; and I think has entirely 
proved the truth of the opinion •f. We have no account from history 
of the extinction of the lUyrians, nor have we any of the entrance of 
a new tribe, which has grown up into the modern community of 
Albanians. The Byzantine historians, to whom we principally owe 
the narrative of the progress of this people, bring them out at 
once as the inhabitants of a part of the region in which they now 
dwell ; the high country on the frontiers of lUyricum and Macedonia ; 
and characterize them by a description, which applies alike to their 
present state and to that of the ancient lUyrians. I should be dis- 
posed, then, to consider this historical point of the origin of the 
Albanians as nearly settled ; and so settled, as to give additional 
interest to the examination of a people who have descended frt>nl 
distant times, with fewer changes perhaps in their situation and 
halnts of life than almost any other community in Europe. X 

* On the ahnoBt unknown subject of the Albanian language I cannot do other than 
refer the reader to the work of Major Leake, already mentioned; where he will find both 
a grammar and vocabulary of the language, drawn up with singular care and accuracy. 

f I have perused an ingenious MS. memoir, in support of the ^ame opinion, by 
Signore Vedlli, a native of the country. 

:|: Chalcocondylas, (lib. i.) seems to oppose the idea that the Albani were the ancient 
niyrians. The early mention of the name by Ptolemy, as implied to a people in Illyria, 
is certainly much in &vour of the opinion. 




The. history rf tlie Albanians, since they obtained this name, 
aftbrds fe^ events that would be interesting beyond the limits of the 
country. During the eleventh century, they bore a part in some of 
the w^rs^ of the Greek empire. In the times of the separate prin* 
cipalily) which Under the name of Acarnania or ^tolia wa4 
established in this part of Greece, at. the beginning of the thirteendi 
century, we find them extending themselves by a: predatory warfare i 
and .notwithstanding a powerful expedition against them by the 
second Aadronicus, about the middle of the fourteenth century, 
they spread themselves at iiiter\^als over the . whole of Epirus, 
Thessaly,i&c»*^ Their resistance to the Turkish conquerors, who soon 
afterwards poured themselves into Greece, has been enobled by the 
history of the celebrated George Castrioti, commonly known by the 
name of Scanderbeg, whose resolute bravery maintained a pro- 
tracted warfare against those invaders of his country. The circum- 
stances which long gave effect to this resistance, have prevented the 
Tuiks from ever permanently maintaining their authority in the 
country. Their influence, indeed, has been sufficient to make nominal 
converts to the Mussulman rdigion, a large part of the Albanian 
popukition; but this effect upon a wild, untutored, and ambitious 
community does not prove a great extent of power. The Albanians, 
it is further true, have been made subservient to the military 
purposes of different Turkish rulers ; but from their military prowess 
they have themselves gained power, and have produced, as at this 
time, men who, aided by the bravery of their countrymen, have 
acquired supremacy over both Turks and Greeks, and made them- 
selves formidable in the very heart of the empiref*. The history of 
events in Albania, from the period of the Turkish conquest until 
the time of Ali Pasha's elevation, affords little that is interesting or 

* Of this expedition, Cantacu2ene gives a detailed narrative. Hist. lib. ii. c« 34. 

f The revolution effected at Constantinople in 1730, by the agency of an Alb^an 
called Ghalily or Patrona, is well known ^m the accurate narrative of Lord Sandwich, 
This Albanian, for a considerable time^ was absolute master of Constantinople, 


important* It would, be little more^thau a picture of imljbrual ikin», 

which might be coosidered trifling, but for the barbaritieei widckoft^i 

occurred in their progress.* iii . ( ? ;i i r /. .. 

• Ali Pasha was bom, as I believe, about the year lltSOob 4751^ ac 

Tepeleni, asmall town of Albania, 75 miles to the notth^of loanninftJ 

His father, Veli. Pasha, resided' at this place as. the goireiiloc d*i'the 

adjacent district ; but his territory was small, add his j^osf^r ImtxmJ 

siderable. He died whoi his son Ali Bey wad dot :m6re! that 15' or 

l6 years of age, hut left hhua protector in his rdother^ who appeare 

to. have been a woman of ui^daunted resokition,'and above the reachf 

pf those prejudices of castom, which lini.Tur key ienfe^ble all'ti^e 

faculties and powjera of action in the female sex. * The- mother of^Ali, 

iadeed, was of Albanian. birth, SHid she Jived in a. country^ the hardy 

and warlike population of wUch was perpetually exercised in internal 

ieuds. At that; period, as I havef just mentioned, Albania wais* divided 

among a number of separate Pashas and diieftains, whose authority 

was generally derived from uisrurpation or conquest, and who were 

almost constantly engaged in nvar for the purpose of supporting or 

extending their powerl * Some of * these Paslias, as those of Berat^ 

loannina, Delvino, &c« possessed a considei'able' territory, -aild a 

strong 'military 5 force. But the greater number of the Albanesio 

chieftains were rather the leaders Of banditti than ^ ^uthori^jed 

gorvernors of the country ;. even many towns and villages afisuntied 

a sort of'separate independence, . and carried ob their petty cbntelst^ 

with the eame rancour which belongs to the warfare »of unions. ' In 

the mountainous distribtsof Albania, n!iore particularly, the ^ sovereign 

authority of the Porte was scarc^y even known* as tt name; and the 

hardy natives of SSuli,: and of the mountains of Chimarrst, mjaititained 

a freedom which history might have celebrated, had tliey not sul}i^ 

It by a predatory manner' of life,, which compds' ds to ictessf thMti 

rather as niountaixi-baftditli' than communities of ^indeperidfent 

peOpte, •' » »■ i • .'j;-' ! •. '.',-. ' '*. ' 

It requited all the'resblutton'oftbe mother of AJi to marnttiin her 
«on'&' rights, in a country thiiisr lawless and lurbulent.'' His f^theKs 


death left him with feeble means of defence, and exposed to the 
attadks of the neighbouring chieftains, who wished to avail them* 
j^ves of his youth to dispossess him of his territory/ Little can now 
be learned with certainty of these trifling contests, but it is related 
by those who recollect the lime, Uiat notwithstanding all the efforts 
q£ his mother, who herself marched, with a fusil in her hand, at the 
head of his few but faithful adherents, Ali Bey was obliged to fly: 
from Tepeleni, and to relinquish his birth-place to his enemies. . At 
the time of this flight, it is said that his circumstances were 9p 
destitute, that he had not more than 40 paras in the world. Whei^ 
travelling through the district of Lopesi, to the north of Tepdeni^ 
early in the year 1813, I slept in the house of an Albanese Mussul- 
man, who told me, that on the very same couch Ali Bey had passed 
the night 42 years before, at a time when he was alone, destitute, and 
seeking concealment from his foes. During the same period of Ali's 
life an event occurred, which is chiefly interesting from the conse- 
quences that have followed it in later times. Amongst other enemies 
of his youth were the inhabitants of Gardiki, a city about 18 miles 
distant from Tepeleni ; the population of which was entirely Mussul- 
man, though principally of Albanese descent. The people of this 
place laid a plan for surprizing the young Ali in a village, where he 
happened to be at this time, together with his mother and sister. They 
surrounded the village in the night, with their troops : Ali escaped 
with difficulty through a garden, but his mother and sister were made 
prisoners and Carried to Gardiki. Accordmg to one narrative I have 
heard) a barrel of gunpowder had been placed under the spot where 
the young Bey was accustomed to pass the night, with the intention 
of destroying him. He escaped, either by accident or from a 
suspicion of the design ; but one of his companions, who lay near 
him, is said to have been killed by the explosion. His mother and 
sister were detained as prisoners during 40 days, and treated with 
every circumstance of indignity and outrage, an offence which has 
never passed away from the memory of Ah Pasha. A dreadful 
massacre, the. particul^u^ of which will afterwards be related, ha^ 


lately attested the degree of his insatiable hatred to the peopk . of 
Gardikiy and left a monument of family vengeance, such as modern 
times have not often exhibited. 

It is difficult to connect the several occurrences in this part of Ali's 
life, but it would appear, that, having contrived to re^assemble some 
Albanian troops, he obtained advantages over the enemies of his house, 
and regained possession of Tepelehi. At this period, Coul Pasha of 
Berat was one of the most considerable men in this part of Turkey, 
governing a lai^ district of country around this city, and com- 
manding a large body of troops. In what year I am not certain, 
but probably when he was about 20 years of age, Ali Bey entered 
into the military service of this Pasha, carrying with him the followers 
who were attached to his person. He is said at this time to hdve 
been one of the handsomest men of the country, with a robustness 
of body which had been alike formed and exerdsed by the pre^ 
ceding events of his life"*^. At Berat, the merits and address of the 
young Albanian chieftain were speedily observed, but his ambitious 
talent became sdso the object of attention and alaorm ; and it was 
strongly recommended to Coul Pasha, by those around him, either 
to give his daughter in marriage to AU Bey as a security, or to 
sacrifice the young man to his apprehensions. The former counsel 
was rejected ; whether any direct attempt was made upon the life 
of Ali I am not informed, but probably he considered himself in 
personal danger, as it appears that soon afterwards he fled in great 
haste ft'om Berat ; and carrying with him only a few of his faithful 
attendants, crossed the chain of Pindus into Thessaly, where he 
remained some time in concealment. It is likely that his ambitious 
spirit had already prompted him to some enterprize against Coul 
Pasha, which accident disconcerted, and brought to light. 


I I !■ I Bi^ii I ■ II ■ ■ I ^ri ■ - -^ ^^r ■ T ' ^ — ■ ~" — ■ — ■ * ' ■ 11 — I — iM^ 

^ BiomstaM, the Swedish traveller, who was at Trikala in 1770, mentions, that an 
Albanian dneftain, called AliBey, had taken that city the same year,<-*a young man, but 
powerful, wealthy, and of great reputation among the Albanians. 



Soon after this, though from what causes I am not informed, he 
seems to have been reconciled to Coul Pasha, whose daughter he 
married. His two eldest sons, Mouctar and Veli, were the offspring 
of this connection, which probably was the means of considerably 
increasing his power. He still, however, continued only a petty 
Albanian leader, till a sudden and successful enterprize against 
loannina, which at this time was feebly governed by its Pasha, gave 
a name and character to his dominion. He was recognized by the 
Porte as Pasha of this city and district, and he made a vigorous use 
of the new means it afforded him of extending his power. He gained 
possession without much difficulty of the Pashalik of Arta, which 
increased his resources by its productive plains, and the access it 
afforded to the sea. Many of the Albanian tribes and districts 
successively yielded to him, either subdued by force, or influenced 
by money, of which he never spared the use. His territory, however, 
at this time, and indeed until within the last few years, was of the 
most irregular kind. Acquired progressively, by detached portions, 
and with different titles, it was scarcely even continuous in extent, 
but rather an assemblage of separate districts, cities, and towns, 
submitted, some with more, others with less freedom, to the power 
of their new master. 

The views of Ali extended themselves towards Thessaly ; and his 
hardy Albanians pouring down from the passes of Pindus, traversed 
with ease the great plains of this country, inhabited by a people of 
less warlike habits than themselves. A very important step in his 
progress, both here and in other parts of Greece, was his being 
appointed some years afterwards by the Porte, Derveni-Pasha of 
Eoumelia. This office, which is that of guardian of all the passes of 
the country, enabled him to assume a military command, which he 
did not fail to render subservient to his political views. 

Early in 1798, we find him as one of the Pashas who marched on 
behalf of the Porte against Paswan Oglou of Widin. He conunanded 
the second Corps of the army in the unfortunate attack upon the city, 


and for his services on this occasion was made Vizier or Pasha of 
three tails. 

His father-in-law and former master ^ CouIPasha^had now been dead 
some time, and Ibrahim was the present Pasha of Berat and Avlona^ 
With this chieftain Ali speedily provoked a quarrel ; but possibly 
at this time he found his adversary too strong, and deemed it better 
policy to make peace, and to contract marriages for his sons Mouctar 
and Veli with the daughters of Ibrahim. About the same period, 
the latter end of 1798, we -find him taking Prevesa from the French, 
which was followed by the reduction of Vonitza, and the remainder 
of KarliU or Acarnania. Paramithia, and its fertile plains, fell into 
his power after a short contest, and his territory extended itself in 
various points towards to the Ionian Sea. The mountains of 
Suli, however, still resisted his power, and their hardy inhabitants 
made occasional incursions even towards the plains of loannina. An 
irregular contest of nearly sixteen years was terminated ten years ago, 
by his occupying the whole of this region, and destroying or expelUng 
every part of its population. 

His authority continued to extend and confirm itself progressively 
on every side. Various large cantons of Macedonia were submitted 
to his power, and in his office of X)erveni-Pasha, his Albanian troops 
were stationed almost on the very frontiers of the ancient Attica. 
The last event of importance, previously to our arrival at loannina, 
had been a second war with Ibrahim Pasha ; protracted for a long 
time, but finally ended by the discomfiture of Ibrahim, who was 
himself made prisoner, and the whole of his extensive and fertile 
Pashalik transferred to the power of Ali Pasha. This event, which 
was accomplished by the conjoint aid of arms and money, took place 
in the latter part of 1811, about the same time that hostilities ceased 
between the Turks and Russians upon the Danube. Mahomet Pasha 
of Delvino had been an ally of Ibrahim. The downfall of one was 
connected with that of the other, and Ali possessed himself of the 
fine country between Argyro-Kastro and Tepeleni, and the coast of 
the Adriatic. The large city of Argyro-Kastro fell into his hands 

p 2 


neajrly at the same time ; Gardiki was subdued and annihilated as a 
city, and various other towns were added to his dominion in the 
adjoining district of country. The Pashas of Berat and Del vino 
were .conveyed to loannina, and imprisoned there : little was known 
of their circumstances or fate. These events, which might be con- 
sidered as adding a population of from 200,000 to 300,000 souls to 
the dominion of the Viaier, had been terminated only in the spring 
of 1812. We arrived at loannina in the autumn of the same year. 

Such has been the progress of this extraordinary man to his pre- 
sent elevation and power. Though it may oblige me to premise 
several circumstances, I shall now endeavour to give the reader some 
idea of his actual pohtical situation, and of the natifre of his govern- 
ment, leaving it to the progress of my narrative to illustrate his per- 
sonal character and habits, and the particular effects of his govern- 
ment upon the situation of the people he commands. 

The territory now subject to the dominion of Ali Pasha may be 
defined on its noithern side by a line drawn eastwards from the 
vicinity of Durazzo on the Adriatic, traversing the continent obliquely 
to the head of the gulph of Saloniki, and including within it's limit, 
Ochrida, Kastoria, and other inland towns, situated on the territory of 
the ancient Macedonia*. The line of coast followed southwards 
from Durazzo, along the shores of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, and 
afterwards along the gulph of Corinth, nearly to its upper extremity, 
will give the western and southern boundaries of his dominions, while 
the eastern is formed by the coast of the Archipelago, and of the 
gulph of Zeitun, connected with a line which traverses the country 
from Thermopylae to the gulph of Corinth, passing a little to the west 
of Thebes. Defining this extent of territory according to the classical 
divisions of antiquity, it may be said to .comprehend the whole of 
Epirus, the southern part of lUyricum, a large portion of Macedonia, 

nearly the whole of Thessaly, Acarnania, ^tolia, Phocis, and a con- 

^ ■ ■ .■■.■■■,...■ I II ■■ I.I ■ .1 ■ . . .1 .1 11, 

* Hie eastern part of thi9 line of boundary may perhaps nearly coincide vdth the Via 
Ignatia of. aEnti<itiity ; die great road which conducted from Apol^nia into Macedonia and 
Thrace. *' ' * 


sidemble part of ancient Boeotia. It must be remarked, however, 
that the authority of AU Pasha is by no means equally absolute or 
ascertained throughout this dominion. In Albania, comprehending 
u^ider this name all the western part of his territory, and that most 
valuable from its military resources, he is despotic in au unlimited 
sense of the word. In ThessaJy, and the south-eastern part of his 
territory, his power is of a more controlled nature; his office of 
Derveni-Pasha in these provinces is the only one permanently recog- 
nized by the Porte ; and though possessing, in fact, all the military 
and civil authority of the country, and his name superseding that of 
the Sultan, he is nevertheless obliged to exercise these powers with 
some degree of reserve : it is on this side that he is most open to any 
sudden effort of the Turkish government. In Albania he derives 
security from the mountainous barriers of the country, and from a 
population of armed men ; but to Thessaly and his dominions on that 
quarter, there are approaches, by which a superior force might over- 
run and for a time occupy the country. 

Besides this more general limitation to the power of Ali Pasha, 
there are many other local varieties in his authority, owing to the 
former separation of the districts and cities which he has combined 
under one dominion, and to the different means he has employed in 
effecting this end. Some districts have been acquired by conquest ; 
others by surrender on terms ; others again by grant from the Porte, 
as a compensation for real or alledged services ; and the degree of his 
influence, though every- where tending towards the equality of perfect 
despotism, is somewhat modified by these circumstances. It may be 
remarked farther, that no distinct boundary can be assigned to his 
dominion, where it is npt actually limited by the sea. His personal 
character, political adroitness, and large military force, giye him a 
preponderating influence in most of the governments which adjoin his 
own territory ; and he is felt far beyond the line which limits his 
power to the ey«. It is fortunate for the Porte^ that this almost 
insensible extension of authority is hmited, on the side of Constan- 
tinople, by the government of Ishmael Bey, of Seres ; whose activity 


has hitherto succeeded in arresting in this quarter the career of Ali 

The tenure on which the Vizier of Albania holds his dominions 
may be understood in part from the preceding narrative of his Hfe. 
In its details, it is one which could scarcely exist but under the 
motley and irregular outline of the Turkish empire. On the part of 
the Porte, his titles are recognized as having been derived from the 
Sultan ; and much also of the authority which he has connected with 
these titles, has been nominally confirmed to him after the possession 
was already obtained. On the other side, Ali Pasha makes a pro 
^ formA recognition of the authority of the Porte, in receiving the 
annual Firman of the Sultan ; and sends very considerable sums to 
Constantinople, as the payment of the Karach, or Christian capit- 
ation tax, and as the rents of imposts, which are farmed for cer- 
tain parts of his dominions : but beyond this, the relation between 
sovereign and subject disappears. In the internal government of his 
dominions, and in his connection with foreign states, Ali Pasha pos- 
sesses and exercises a perfect independence. He levies or disbands 
his armies, makes wars or alliances with the neighbouring govern- 
ments, regulates the taxes and commercial duties of his dominions, 
and governs, in his judicial capacity, without the possibility of 
appeal. He maintains at Constantinople a number of agents, Greeks 
as well as Turks, who support his influence in the Divan, and for- 
ward the progress of his political views. Residents from England, 
France, and Russia, are established at his own court; and he is 
engaged in a regular and independent political correspondence with 
these and others of the powers of Europe and Africa. He is said, 
but I know not with what truth, to have had an agent at Tilsit, when 
the treaty between Russia and France was in the progress of transac- 
tion there. His political information is generally of the most exact 
kind, and obtained with so much promptitude, that loannina often 
becomes the channel through which both Constantinople and the 
Ionian Isles are infortned of events taking place in the centre of 


Of the amount of the military force by which this system of 
power is maintained, it is impossible to speak with precision. On 
this subject, there is a strong tendency to exaggeration throughout 
Turkey at large. An Albanian, if you should enquire from him 
what number of troops Ali Pasha could bring into the field, will 
generally speak of 100,000, or a still greater number ; and even the 
more intelligent Greek of loannina will frequently rate them at 50,000 
or 60,000 men. Both these statements are much above the reality ; 
but nevertheless, it would be difficult to assign a precise limit to the 
military resources of a country, in many districts of which the whole 
adult male population may instantly become soldiers, and where war- 
fare has hitherto been less a profession than a permanent habit of 
life to the community. When Ali Pasha marched to the assistance 
of the Porte against Paswan Oglou, it is said that he carried with 
him 15,000 troops. I have been informed that the same number 
(including Veli Pasha's Albanese soldiers from the Morea) accom- 
panied his sons Mouctar and Veli to the Danube, in the late cam- 
paign against the Russians ; and in the wars arising from his own 
schemes of conquest, it is probable that he has occasionally em- 
ployed an equal amount of force. Subsequently to these events, 
the successful termination of his war with Ibrahim Pasha, and 
the conquest of Argyro-Kastro, Delvino, and other governments, had 
added greatly to the extent of his territory; and this in a part of the 
country, where the population is almost exclusively Albanian, and 
singular for its warlike dispositions. In the present state of his 
dominions, and especially if any necessity should demand vigorous 
efforts, I do not doubt that Ali Pasha might continue on foot for 
a short time, an army of 30,000 men. Under ordinary circum- 
stances, when he has no war or scheme of conquest to support, his 
standing force is much below this amount. It would be difficult to 
estimate the number of his soldiers, who are scattered in small bodies 
through the different districts, cities, and villages in his territory; 
but probably it might not be an exaggerated statement, to rate them 

at 10,000 ; while of those, who are stationed at loannina, and around 



his couit, the number, though varying, may be stated on the average 
at 4,000 or 5,000 men. 

In speakings however, of an Albanian army, it is requisite to 
explain the meaning of this term ; which if it conveys to the reader 
the idea of any thing analogous to the constitution of European 
armies, is wholly inappropriate to its object. The Albanese soldiers 
are merely the armed peasantry of the country, without regular 
officers, without military discipline, and not even distributed into 
regular corps. They are raised simply by the mandates of the 
Vizier, addressed to different districts, ordering each to provide a 
cert£lin number of men, and appointing the several destinations of 
those so provided. The Albanian peasant, hardy and mascuhne in 
his habits, and already accustomed to the use of his fusil and sabre, 
steps forth at once a -soldier from his native village. Few changes 
are necessary in his dress or accoutrements, and neither his mind or 
body are fettered by the minute details of a formal discipline. His 
immediate commander is generally one of the principal persons of 
those who have been summoned from his own district ; but the office 
of command is ill defined, and whatever may have been his situation 
in life, he enjoys, as a soldier, an independence of any direct or 
violent controuL The despotic command of the Vizier, as master of 
the whole, lessens the authority of subordinate officers ; and every in- 
dividual of his army, as of the country which he governs, looks at 
once to him as the centre and single source o( power. 

The character of an Albanian soldier is that of an Albanian army. 
It is merely a mass of men, individually strong and brave, but 
without organization or military tactics. The higher offices of the 
army are scarcely better defined than the lower; the leaders not 
having risen by any regular gradation of rank, but acquiring their 
situation either from personal influence, or the reputation of superior 
bravery. A review of Albanian troops is simply a procession of 
man by man under the eye of their chief. Their order of battle 
is that of a crowd ; in which the bravest men are called upon by 
national cries and exclamations to come out and meet the enemy ; 


Others follow the example, and it becomes the afiair of man against 
man, and of strength against strength. In consequence of this 
method of fighting, the slaughter is generally small in the internal 
wars of Albania ; but when these troops are brought against regular 
armies, and a route once commences, the destruction is occasionally 
Tery great. Much of this description is applicable to Turkish armies 
in general, as well to the Albanese; but the character of warfare 
is more distinct and pecuUar among the latter people. Nevertheless 
from their bravery and warlike habits, the Albanians possess the 
highest military reputation in the Turkish empire; and in the 
Morea, in Egypt, in Syria, and other provinces, they are every- 
where found as the guards of the Pashas, and the most valuable part 
of the military force of the country. * 

The naval power of Ali Pasha is very small ; though it appears 
&at of late he has been making some efforts to increase it. A few 
large armed corvets, which have hitherto been chiefly employed in 
carrying cargoes of corn, or in the missions to the Barbary powers, 
form at present the whole of his force upon the seas. 

Of the population of the country subject to the government of 
Ali Pasha, it is impossible to speak with certainty, as there are no 
official documents on which to form an opinion ; and the same habit 
of exaggeration exists here, as with respect to the amount of military 
force. The most populous portions of his territory are unquestion- 
ably some of the districts in Albania to the north of loannina. In 
Thessaly, and the country southwards to the gulph of Corinth, the 
population is less considerable ; in the ancient Acarnania aod ^tolia, 
the country is very thinly peopled, and there are no towns of any 
importance. M. Pouqufeville, the French minister at loannina, has 

^ In the island of Lipari, I saw a r^ment of Albanians, which had long beai in the 
service of the king of the Two Sicilies. This regiment was disbanded in the winter of 
»8i2. A large part of the foftcej by which the English trpops Wjere attacked at Rosett^, 
in the last ezpedi^on to Egjfpt, wascomposed of Albaniaos, 


Stated to me his opinion, tliat the whole dominions of Ali Pasha 
do not contain a population of more than a million and a half, and 
though various reasons incline nie to believe that this is below the 
truth, yet any estimate which should exceed 2,000,000, would 
probably be as much in the other extreme. If we were to assume 
the latter number as the real one, (and it perhaps is not very widely 
remote,) we should obtain an average population equal to that of 
Scotland; the superficial extent of Ali Pasha's dominions not dif- 
fering greatly from that of the sister kingdom. 

This population may be divided into three principal classes: viz. 
the Turks, Greeks, and Albanians; each of which classes, though 
intermixed to a certain extent with the others, yet preserves its. 
general characters as a distinct community. The Turkish population 
is unquestionably the smallest in amount, thou^ proportionally 
greater in Thessaly than in Albania, or the country nearer the 
gulph of Corinth. The Greeks are numerous in the towns and 
villages in the southern parts of Albania, and may be considered to 
form the basis of the population of this district. In the country to 
the north of loannina, they are rarely seen ; but in Thessaly, they 
probably compose nearly two-thirds of the number of inhabitants; 
and in the district to the south of the river Hellada, and Thtermophyte^ 
comprizing the antient Doris, Phocis, and a part of Bceotia, their 
proportion is still more considerable. Among the mountains of 
the Pindus chain is scattered a considerable population of Wallachiau 
descent, with some peculiar features in their habits and modes 
of life, which will hereafter be noticed. The Albanian subjects of 
Ali Pasha, however, inasmuch as they form the chief support of his 
military power, are more important than any other part of the 
population of these countries. I have already spoken of the origin, 
history, and distribution of this people. Though recognizing as 
their native soil the country on the eastern coast of the Adriatic 
and Ionian Seas, they are found in almost every part of the tcrritorj 
of Ah Pasha, not merely as soldiers, but also as settlers by conquest 



AT migration. Even in Attica and the Morea, there are numerous 
districtaand villages, the people of which, in their language and habits^ 
retain the most distinct features of their Albanian descent. * 

In speaking of the revenues of Ali Pasha, it cannot be expected 
that I should do more than state some of the sources whence they 
are derived^ without venturing to give an estimate of their amount* 
The peculiar nature of his government, despotic in itself, yet 
nominally standing in a sort of subjection to another, would render 
such an estimate extremely difficult; and it becomes almost impossible, 
when to these circumstances is added the peculiar character of the 
man, avaricious in his temper, insulated in his counsels, unceasingly 
active in his owii affairs, and giving his entire confidence to none of 
the many who surround his person. That his revenues^ however, are 
large, and his collected nreasures of great amount, may be inferred 
from the nature of his resources, from the extensive miUtiary estabhsh- 
ment which he maintains, and from the powerful influence he has 
acquired in Constantinople by the distribution of money. The most 
important sources of revenue are, first, the land«tax, an impost 
apparently very irregular in its distribution, with local varieties which 
kive been determined by the various mann^ in which he has acquired 
possession of different districts* Its ordinary extent, however, appears 
to be about 10 per cent, of liie produce, or value of the produce^ — 
Secondly, a tax upon cities and towns, which in most cases seems to 
be arbitrary, and depending upon the necessities and will of the 
Vizier, but in some instances is modified by the circumstances of their 
surrender or conquest. This tax is imposed in the form of requi* 
sition, its distribution among the inhabitants being generally left to 
the discretion of the principal people of the place. I was informed 
that the usual sum required annually from the city of loannina, 
amounted to two or three hundred thousand piastres; or from 11,000/. 
to 16,000/. ; the arrangements for satisfying which are committed 

* One or two small branches of this people are to be found in Naples and Sicily, where 
also they preserve the traces (^ their origin. ^ 

Q 2^ 


to the most respectable Greek inhabitants. —■ Thirdly, the duties 
upon export and import, which Ali Pasha has lately endeavoured 
to increase to six per cent, in his dominions, though elsewhere in the 
Turkish empire they do not exceed to foreigners three per cent. A 
remonstrance made by our government of the Ionian Isles, in the 
spring of 1813, induced him to relinquish the additional impost, as 
applied to the exports from Albania to these islands ; but even in this 
transaction, he maintained his right to regulate his own duties, without 
regard to the usage of other parts of Turkey. — Fourthly, the 
assumption of a right to all the property of those who die without 
male-heirs, a claim founded in part on the custom of the Turkish 
empire, which gives to the Sultan the property of persons having no 
direct heii-s, as well as the inheritance of the great officers of state. 
This claim, in the hands of Ali Pasha, is pursued with unabating 
vigour, and forms one of the most serious oppressions to his subjects. 
Like some of the preceding taxes, however, it is irregular in its local 
exercise, some towns and districts being partially exempt from k,a con- 
sequence of the same circumstances which have already been alluded 
to. In Albania the exercise of the claim is most rigorous, and one or 
two instances have come to my own knowledge, where it was attended 
with very distressing effects. — Fifthly, a duty upon all decisions in 
cases of commercial or civil litigation, amounting to one-tenth of the 
value of the disputed property. In all such instances of litigation 
among his Greek subjects, the Vizier appoints commissioners front 
among the merchants of the same community, who act as judges 
upon the questions at issue. 

Besides these more important sources of revalue, there are others 
less direct and uniform in their nature, such as the requisitions 
upon particular districts to assist in building the palaces of the 
Pasha, and other public works ; the partial monopoly of the com 
trade ; the billetting of the soldiers upon private houses ; the con* 
fiscation of the property of individuals, and other modes of exaction, 
which a despotic government can impose or withdraw at its pleasure. 

It may be mentioned generally, with respect to all these public 



impositions, that they are only very partially and with' much less 
Tigour enforced on the eastern side of Ali Pasha's dominion, where 
liis power is not so firmly established as in his western territory : nor 
can it be ascertained what proportion of the revenue of the country 
he transmits to Constantinople, either directly, as a nominal com- 
position for the land-tax, the Karaqh, and certain other imposts ; or 
indirectly ) to forward his political views in that capital. It has been 
the general policy of Ali Pasha to maintain the friendship of the 
• Porte, even while pursuing most actively his schemes of anibition ; 
and well instructed how, in a government like that of Turkey, this 
may most effectually be done, he has not failed, by transmitting a 
part of his treasures, to procure an easy licence to the progress of his 
conquests. Admirably served by his agents at Constantinople, he 
well knows tlie fittest time and manner of accomplishing these 
purposes ; and it is probable that the amount of his payments is 
chiefly determined by the political situation of the moment, and the 
nature of his future projects. 

In addition to his public revenue, Ali Pasha derives an increase of 
power from the extent of his private property, which I have under- 
stood, on some authority, to amount to 4,000,000 piastres, or more 
than 200,000/. per annum. This revenue is chiefly drawn from the rent 
of lands, from towns, and villages, which are considered as belonging 
personally to the Vizier. In the case of a despotic government, 
owing its origin to conquest, it would be superfluous minutely to 
enquire how these possessions were obtained, or on what rights they 
depend. Some of them are said to have been derived from purchase, 
and those particularly which are situated in Thessaly ; but contracts 
between a despot and his slaves can be submitted to no criterion of 
fairness or equality. The actual accumulation of treasure by the 
Vizier, from these various sources, is supposed to be very great* A 
large portion of his wealth, according to the usage of the Bast, is 
probably hoarded in the form of gold, silver, and the precious stones; 
and it is currently said in the country, that the Seraglio of Tepeleni, 


the place of his nativity, is one of tlie principal repositories of these 
hidden treasures. 

The nature of Ah Pasha's government, as Af ell as the character of 
the man, will be more fully illustrated in the succeeding nan^ativet 
for which the reader will be prepared by the sketch that has been 
given of his progress and actual dominion. Speaking generally of 
his administration, it may be said to be one of absolute individual 
despotism, supported by a union of powerful personal qualities in 
that individual. Quick thought, singular acuteness of observation, a 
conjunction of vigour and firmness in action, and much personal 
resolution are connected with an uncommon faculty of artifice, an 
unplacable spirit of revenge, and the utter disregard of every principle 
interfering with that active movement of ambition, which- is the 
main spring and master-feeling of his mind. The effect of these 
remarkable qualities has been exhibited in the progress, he has made 
to his present state of elevation. Their influence is strikingly apparent 
in the entire subjection of so many warlike tribes, in the perfect tran- 
quillity of lus dominions, in the despostic exercise of his government; 
and above all, in the mysterious awe with which even his name and 
mandate are regarded by every class of his subjects. It is pleasant to 
be able to allege, as one proof of his superior understanding, a degree 
of freedom from national and religious prejudices rarely to be found 
among Turkish rulers^ He has studiously adopted into his territory 
several of the improvements of more cultivated nations ; he has 
destroyed the numerous bands of robbers who infested the peaceful 
inhabitants of the country ; by his direction, roads have been made, 
bridges constructed, and agricultural improvements attempted. This 
laudable spirit has added respect to the terror inspired by his 
government; and even those who, out of the immediate reach of his 
power, can venture to express hatred of his tyranny, are obliged to 
allow that Albania is more happy and prosperous under this single 
snd stem dominion, than when divided among numerous chieftains, 
and harasssed by incessant wars. From this opinion, no deference 



to the principles of despotism can be inferred. The experience of 
History has proved that a single tyrant is less injurious to the happiness 
of a people, than tyranny divided among several; and the Vizier of 
Albania has himself become a despot, only by the annihilation of the 
many despots who preyed on that heretofore distracted and divided 

( 120 ) 







T1I7E had been settled about two hours ib the house of our new 
^ ^ host, Metzou, when the Greek Secretary Colovo called upon 
us, to pay his compliments on our arrival at loannina, and to 
announce the intention of the Vizier to receive us at the SeragHo the 
following morning. We found Colovo a man between fifty and sixty 
years of age, of extreme sedateness of manner, yet prepossessing in 
his appearance and conversation. He spoke fluently the French, 
Italian, and German languages, and his visit this evening gave some 
relief to our intercourse with the family of our host, which had 
hitherto been embarrassed by the want of some common means of 
converse. Signore Colovo had scarcely left the house, when* an 
evening repast was served up to us, consisting of several dishes of 
meats and pastry, on a circular pewter tray, set upon a large wooden 
stool. The family did not partake in this meal ; but we were joined 
by a young Greek merchant of loannina, who, as we afterwards 
learnt, was betrothed to the eldest daughter of our host. This young 
man, loannes Mela by name, had travelled much in Germany and 
Russia, spoke the continental languages remarkably well, and made 
himself very agreeable to us by his pleasing manners and excellent 
information. After supper, our party was joined by one or two other 
Greeks ; Turkish pipes and coffee were introduced, and, sitting on the 
sophas of the apartment, we continued smoking till the evening was 
for advanced. In the novelty of this scene, occurring immediately 


after our entrance into the capital of Ali Pasha, it will readily be con- 
ceived that there was much enjoym^it. 

The morning of the Ist of November was made interesting to us, 
by our introduction to this extraordinary man. At ten o'clock, 
Colovo again called, to say that the Vizier was prepared to give 
us audience; and shortly afterwards, two white horses, of beau- 
tiful figure, and superbly caparisoned in the Turkish manner, were 
brought to us from the Seraglio ; conducted by two Albanese soldiers, 
likewise richly attired and armed. Mounting these horses, and a 
Turkish officer of the palace preceding us, with an ornamented staff 
in his hand, we proceeded slowly and with much state through the 
city, to the great Seraglio, which is situated in its southem quarter, 
and somewhat more than half a' mile from our place of abode. On- 
our way thither,, we passed by the palace of Mouctar Pasha, a hand- 
some edifice, ^nd constructed with more regularity than is usual in 
Turkish architecture. 

The Seraglio of Ali Pasha is an inmiense pile of building, lofty in 
itself, and situated on an eminence which gives it conmiand over 
every part of the city. It may not unfitly be termed, a palace upon, 
and within a fortress. High and massive stone^walls, on different 
parts of which cannon are mounted, support a superstructure of 
wood, of great extent, but apparently without any regularity of plan : 
the several portions of the edifice seem to have been successively 
added, as a necessity was foimd for its enlargement ; yet notwithstand« 
ing this irregularity, the magnitude and character of the building give 
it an air of magnificence, which is not always obtained by a more rigid 
adherence to architectural rules. The style of construction is entirely 
Turkish ; the roofs projecting far beyond the face of the buildings, 
the windows disposed in long rows underneath ; the walls richly de- 
corated with painting, occasionally landscape, but more generally what 
is merely ornamental, and without uniform design. The access to the 
Seraglio is exceedingly mean. It is surrounded by narrow and gloomy 
streets, without any circumstance to mark the approach to the palace 
of the Albanian ruler. A broad wooden gateway conducted us into a 



large, irregular area, two sides of which were formed by the buildings 
of the Seraglio ; a third side by a long wooden shed, intended, as it 
would seem, for the reception of the horses, which are constantly mov- 
ing to and from the palace. This area presented a curious and interest- 
ing scene. It was crowded with the Albanian soldiers of the Vizier ; 
some of them pacing around the open space ; others keeping guard at 
the different gates of the Seraglio ; others again sitting on the ground, 
in circular groupes, singing the national airs of their country, or 
reciting perhaps the deeds of their national warfare. The Albanian is 
here seen with all the most striking peculiarities of costume and man- 
ner. The Tchochodares, and guards of the Vizier, are selected from 
among their countrymen, for their strength and other martial endow- 
ments ; their clothing and arms are of richer kind than those common 
among the other Albanese soldiers ; but they retain all that mixture 
of the wild and picttiresque in their figure, dress» and accoutrements, 
which is the characteristic of their nation,-^ the little red cap upon the 
crown of the head ; the hair shaved off from the £6rehead and temples, 
but falling down in large masses over the shoulders ; the mustachios ; 
the huge ^nd shaggy capote thrown over the hack.; the broad belt, 
from which project the curiously-worked handles of their pistols ; 
the wide camisoj coloured stockings,^ and ornamented sandals. The 
vests which these men wear, are very frequently made of velvet, and 
so richly ornamented with gold and silver, that they form a sort of 
splendid armour to the body. -A very striking peculiarity of the 
Albanians, and one advantageously seen among the guards, in the 
area of the Seraglio, is their carriage in walking. It is not the hurried 
and aukward step of the rustic, or undiscipUned soldier; but a firm, 
and slowly-measured march, with something even of stateliness in the 
gait, which I have not equally observed among any other people. 
The memory of every one who has travelled in Albania, will recognize 
at once this featiu'e in the peasantry and soldiers of the country. 

Passing through the almost savage pomp of this outer area of the 
Seraglio, tve entered an inner court, and disihounted at the foot of 
a dark stone-staircase. On the first landing-place stood one of the 


Vizier^s carriages ; an old and awkward vehicle, of German manu-> 

facture^ and such as might have been supposed to, have ttzvelled a 

dozen times from Hamburgh to Trieste. At the top of the staircase^ 

we entered into a wide gallery or hall,, the windows of which 

command a noble view of the lake of loannina, and the mountains 

of Pindus ; the walls are painted, and numerous doors conduct from 

it to different parts of the palace* This hall, like the area below, 

was filled with a multitude of people ; and the living scenery became 

yet more various and interesting as we proceeded. We now saw, 

besides Turkish, Albanese, and Moorish soldiers, the Ttirkish officers, 

and ministers of the Vizier; Greek and Jewish secretaries, Greek 

merchants, Tartar couriers, the pages and black slaves of the 

Seraglio ; petitioners seeking to obtain audience, and numerous other 

figures, which give to the court and palace of Ali Pasha a character 

all its own^ Lord Byron has admirably characterized this scene, 

as he saw it in the Seraglio of the Vizier at Tepelefti. His pictures 

are as minutely accurate in their descriptive details^ as th^ are 

splendid and imposing in the poetry which conveys them to the eye 

of the reader. * 

A passage from this outer hall, conducted us into a long and lofty 
apartment, the walls of which were beautifully painted, aiid all the 
decorations rich and superb. Here we were met by several pages 
and attendants of the Vizier, who led us to the door of his room of 
audience ; accompanied by Signore Colovo, who had joined us at the 
gate of the Seraglio, and now attended as our interpreter. A curtain 
was thrown aside, and we entered the apartment bf Ali Pasha. The 
first coup d^cdl was imposing. It was a large and lofty saloon, from 
which an area was separated at the lower end of four richly 
ornamented pillars ; a long range of windows at the upper extremity 
affording the same magnificent view as that from the outer haU. 
The interior decorations of the apartihent exhibited much of gaudy 

* Childe Harold, canto ii. 55, 56, &c. 

R 2 



profusion. The prevailing colours, as well of the painted walls 
and cieling, as of the furniture, were crimson, blue, and yellow ; the 
latter colour chiefly derived from the massy and profuse gilding, 
which was spread over every part of the room. The cieling was 
divided into squares by wood-work very curiously and delicately 
carved ; the interior of each square was of crimson colour, the 
borders of gold. Pilastres, at equal distances, and richly orna- 
mented, but without any regular order of architecture, gave variety 
to the walls of the apartment. On these pilastres, and in niches 
intermediate to them, were hung the arms of the Vizier, sabres, 
daggers, and pistols ; all of the finest workmanship, and profusely 
adorned with gold and jewels. A Turkey-carpet covered the floor, 
and divans entirely surrounded the room, except at its lower end. 
These were very broad, and elevated about fifteen inches from the 
ground ; the cushions of crimson satin, with deep borders of gold lace. 
A large fire of wood was blazing on a hearth, above which a project- 
ing chimney-piece, or rather chiipney, rose in the form of a conical 
canopy, superbly ornamented with gilding, of various figure and 

These minute observations, however, were riot made at the time 
of our entrance into the apartment. All our attention was at this 
moment occupied by the person of Ali Pasiha himself, whose figure 
formed the most interesting part of the picture that was before us. 
He was sitting in the Turkish manner, with his legs crossed under 
him, on a couch immediately beyond the fire, somewhat more 
elevated than the rest, and richer in its decorations. On his 
head he wore a high round cap, the colour of the deepest mazareen 
blue, and bordered with gold lace. His exterior robe was of yellow 
Qloth, likewise richly embroidered, two inner garments striped of 
various colours, and flowing down loosely from the neck to the feet ; 
confined only about the waist by an embroidered belt, in which w^re 
fixed a pistol and dagger, of beautiful and delicate workmi^nship. The 

hilts of these arms were covered with diamonds and pearls, and eme- 



raids of grea^ size and beauty were set in the heads of each. On his 
fingers the Vizier wore many large diamond rings, and the mouth- 
piece of his long and flexible pipe was equally decorated with 
various kinds of jewellery, * 

Yet more than his dress, however, the countenance of Ali Pasha 
at this time engaged our earnest observation. It is difficult to 
describe features, either in their detail or general effect, so as to 
convey any distinct impression to the mind of the reader. Were 
I to attempt a description of those of Ali, I should speak of his 
face as large and fiill ; the forehead remarkably broad ^and open, 
and traced by many deep furrows; the eye penetrating, yet not 
expressive of ferocity ; the nose handsome and well formed ; the 
mouth and lower part of the face concealed, except when speaking, 
by his mustachios and the long beard which flows over his breast. 
His complexion is somewhat lighter than ^ that usual among the 
Turks, and his general appearance does not indicate more than his 
actual age, of sixty or sixty-one years, except perhaps that his beard 
is whiter than is customary to this time of life. The neck is short 
and thick, the figure corpulent and unwieldy; his stature I had 
afterwards the means of ascertaining to be about five feet nine inches. 
The general character and expression of the countenance are un- 
questionably fine, and the forehead especially is a striking and 
majestic feature. Much of the talent of the man may be inferred 
from his exterior; the moral qualities, however, may not equally 
be determined in this way ; and to the casual observation of the 
stranger, I can conceive from my own experience, that nothing 
may appear but what is open, placid, and alluring*. Oppor- 
tunities were afterwards afforded me of looking beneath this exterior 

* Lord Byron thu» describes him : 

a man of war oad woes; 
Yet in his lineaments ye cannot tracer 
While gentleness her milder radiance throws 
Along that aged venerable face^ 
Tlie deed^ that lurk beneath, and stain himi with disgrace. 


of expres^on; it is the fire of a stove burning fie^ely under a 
smooth and poUshed surface. 

When we entered the apartment, the Vizier inclined himself 
forwards, without rising from his couch, and moved his hand towards 
his breast, the gracefrd and dignified manner of salutation which 
is common throughout the East. He motioned us to take a seat on 
the sofas at no great distance from his couch, the interpreter mean- 
while standing in front. He first enquired from the latter, whether 
we spoke the Romaic, or what other languages ? To this enquiry, 
as it regarded the Romaic, or modem Greek, we were reluctantly 
compelled to reply in the negative; the interpreter adding on his 
own suggestion, that we understood the Hellenic; the name by 
which the ancient Greek language is yet known in the country. The 
Vizier, continuing to employ the Romaic, while his dragoman com% 
municated with us in Italian, next expressed in general terms his 
pleasure at seeing us at loannina. He enquired how long it was 
since we had left England ? where we had travelled in the interval ? 
when we had arrived in Albania? whether we were pleased ^ith what 
we had yet seen of this country ? how we liked the appearance of 
loannina P whether we had experienced any obstruction in reacliing 
this city? with several other enquiries of similar nature. Though 
the pronunciation of the modem Gree^ was still novel and strange 
to my ear, yet I sufficiently understood it, to be aware that Colovo 
translated our replies to these questions with much distinctness and 
accuracy. Soon after the conversation commenced, a pipe was 
brought to each of us by the attendants, the mouth-pieces of amber, 
set ro\md with small diamonds ; and shortly afterwards cofiee of the 
finest quality was handed to us in china cups, within golden ones. 
The Vizier himself drank coffee, and smoked at intervals during 
the progress of the conversation. 

The enquiries he made respecting our joiuney to loannina, gave 
us the opportunity of complimenting him on the excellent poUce of 
his dominions, and the attention he has given to the state of the 
roads^ I mentioned to him generally Lord Byron's poetical descrip*^ 


tion of Albania, the interest it had excited in England, and 
Mr, Hobhouse's intended publication of his travels in the same 
country- He seemed pleased with these circumstances, and stated 
his recollection of Lord Byron. He then spoke of the present state 
of Europe;, enquired what was our latest intelligence of the advance 
of the French armies in Russia, and what the progress of affairs 
in Spain- On the former point, it was evident that the information 
we gave, was not new to him, though he did aot expressly sa,y,this; 
his manner, however, evinced the strong ^terest he felt in the 
subject, and it seemed as if he were seeking indirectly to obtjEun 
our opinions upon it. He was less accurately and less recently 
informed as to the , affairs of Spain, and we gave him a short nar* 
rative of the battle of Salamanca, and the entry of Lord Wel- 
lington into Madrid, of which he had before heard only the general * 

The next subject of conversation was prefaced by his asking us, 
whether we had seen at Santa-Maura one of his armed corvettes which . 
had been seized and carried thither by an English frigate. This 
subject we had anticipated, and not entirely without apprehension. 
The vessel in question, which was a large ship carrying 26 or 28 guns, 
we had actually seen when on our passage from Ithaca to Corfu. 
It was detained in the vicinity of Corfu by an English frigate, having 
on board a large cargo of grain, and under circumstances which 
rendered it evident that there was a design of infringing the blockade 
of that island. Though probably aware, that the vessel was lawfully 
a prize, Ali Pasha professed great indignation . on the subject, and 
^ wrote with so much warmth "to theJocal government of Simta-Maura, 
while we were in that island, that we were led to hesitate a moment, 
whether it might not be well to delay our journey to loannina until 
the affair was further adjusted. In bringing forward the subject 
during our interview with him, the Vizier spoke with animation, or 
even a slight warmth of manner. ,He complained of tlie injustice 
done to him in the capture of his vestel, denied the right of capture in 
this particular case, and alleged his various good offices towards our 


government, as well as to individuals of the English nation, as what 
ought to have secured him against such acts of hostility. We 
answered, that as mere travellers we could not venture to give a 
reply that might be deemed official, but that we doubted not, from 
our knowledge of the dispositions of the English government, that 
when the affair was properly explained, its final arrangement would 
be both just, and satisfactory His Highness. This of course meant 
little, and the Vizier doubtless understood it as such. He added only 
a few words, and then, with a loud laugh, expressed his desire of 
changing the subject.* 

He now inquired whether we were comfortably lodged in the 
house he had appointed for us ; hoped we should remain some time 
in loannina; and asked whether we had any design of going to 
Constantinople or to Athens ? On explaining our intention of visiting 
the latter place, he said that we should have every facility in passing 
through his dominions, and offered any other service that might be 
in his power. Before our audience concluded, he mentioned his 
having been informed that I was a physician, and asked whether I had 
studied medicine in England ? Replying to this in the affirmative, 
he expressed his wish to consult me on his own complaints before we 
should quit loannina, a proposition to which I bowed assent, though 
not without apprehensions of difficulty in prescribing for the case of 
such a patient. He dismissed us ve|"y graciously after we had been 
with him about half an hour. The interpreter continued standing 
the whole time, and six attendants also remained in the apartment 
during our audience. Four of these were young Albanians, tall and 
handsome in their persons, with long flowing hair, and their dress ^ 

* The frigate which took this corvette was the ApoUo^ coQimanded by Captain Taylor, 
pn office^ of whom his country and society are now unhappily deprived, but who will long 
be recollected for his talents, bravery, and the generous liberality of his temper, — qualities 
which had given an early reputation to his name. The corvette in question was eventually 
given up to Ali Pasha, less from any doubts of the legality of the prizie, than froini tUe 
liature of oi}r political relfdpns with him at the time. 



and arms costly and magnificent The other two were negroes^ 
wearing white turbans, and also exhibiting much decoration of dress* 

The manner of the Vizier in this interview was courteous and 
polite, without any want of the dignity which befits his situation. 
There is not, ^ther in his countenance or speech, that formal and 
unyielding apathy, which is the characteristic of the Turks as a 
people ; but more vivacity, humour, and change of expressicm* His 
laugh is vary peculiar, and its deep tone^ approaching to a growl, 
might almost startle an ear unaccustomed to it. Altogether I was 
very well satisfied with the tenor of our interview, which paved the 
way to me £ar a long and interesting connection with this singular 

We retutned to our lodging on the same horses which had brought 
us to the Seraglio. In repassing through the palace-yard, I. observed 
some of the Albanian soldiers who wore red shawls singularly 
wrapped round the head and neck. These men are chiefly firom the 
districts of northern Albania, on the confines of the ancient Mace* 
dofiia; they are generally tall and muscular in person, wild and 
ferocious in their habits of life, and have the repute of being'excdlent 
soldiers, according. to the Albanian modes of warfare. The character 
of the ancient people of thi& district is giv^i us by Livy, and strike 
ingly resembles- that of the modem race of inhabitants.* 

EsTABiLSHED uow iuloannina, and having gone through our first 
interview with the Yizier, we were at leisure to survey the various 
features of the city, and its neighbourhood : in which we were much 
assisted by the kindness of Mela, the young Greek, who had visited us 
on the evening of our arrival. The general situation of loannina has 
already been noticed ; in a valley, or what may be termed from its 
appearance a great bason, environed by mountains, the city itself , 


* FrigidahflBC omiiis, duraque cultu et aspera plaga est: caltorum qaoque ingenia terras 
ranilia habet ; ferodores eos et aceohe barbarifiMaimt, nunc bdlo exeroentea, nunc in paoa 

niicentes ritns suoa. lib. xlv. 30. 



Stretching along the western shores of a lake, which on its opposite 
side washes the foot of one of these mountain boundaries. The 
length of this. lake may be about six miles; its breadth nowhere 
greatly exceeds two miles; and near the central part of the city, its' 
channel is much narrowed by the projecting peninsula, which forms 
the fortress of loannina, and by the small island, which, is opposed 
to it on the other shore: these two features add greatly. to the 
beauty of the scenery from every point of view. The peninsula of 
the fortress, widening as it advances into the lake, is terminated by 
two distinct promontories of rock; on one of which stands a large 
Turkish mosque, its lofty, minaret and extensive piazzas shaded by 
the cypresses surrounding it : on the other promontory, the old Sera^ 
glio of the Pashas of loannina, a large buildings with all that irr^u- 
lar and indefinable magnificence which belongs to Turkish architec-> 
ture ; the minaret and cypresses of a second mosque rising above 
its projecting roofs, and painted . walls. The area of the fortress, 
which forms a small town in itself, is insulated from the rest of the 
city by a lofty stone-wall and a broad moat which admits the waters 
of the lake. ' . 

. The island ' opposite the city is picturesque in its outline, and em- 
bellished by a small palace of the Vizier's, which is seen upon its 
shore. A village on its northern side is almost hidden by the luxu- 
riant foliage of the chesnut and plane trees growing amongst its habit- 
ations. The traveller will do well to ascend the highest point of the 
isle, whence there is a most imposing view of the city and the build- 
ings on the cliffs of the fortress. 

The banks of the lake present many other objects to engage the 
eye ; — the great Seraglio, which from some points of view seems to 
rise from its shore ; a painted Kiosck, projecting over the waters, be- 
. low the rocks of the old Seraglio ; a convent of Dervishes, shaded by 
trees, further to the north ; but above all, the mountain ridge of Met- 
zoukel, which, with a height probably between 2,600 and 3,000 feet 
above the lake, forms, almost as far as the view extends, a continuous 
and unbroken boundary to the valley ; rising from the water's edge^ 





opposite to loaiuiina^ with an abruptness and majesty of outline, the 
effect of which is highly magnificent. Its precipitous front is inter- 
sected by the ravines of mountain torrents ; which, expanding as 
they approach the lake, are covered with wood, and form the shelter 
to many small villages. It is said that formerly there were more exten* 
sive forests oii this mountain ascent ; but that they were destroyed, 
as being the resort of bands of robbers who infested the tranquil* 
lity of the city. Considering the general absence of wood from the 
landscape, the scenery of loannina is perhaps less perfect than had 
these forests been still preserved: still it is such, as may be con* 
sidered to have- few parallels in variety and magnificence. 

The extent of the city, as it stretches backwards and laterally from 
the fortress, is greater than the same population would occupy in the 
towns of other parts of Europe. Besides the vacant spaces of the 
mosques and Turkish burying-grounds, all the better houses both 
of Turks and Greeks have areas attached to them, in which there 
generally grow a few trees, giving to the general view of the place 
Uiat singular intermixture of buildings and wood which has already 
been noticed. The central part of the city, occupied in great . part 
by the streets forming the Bazars, is the only one where much con* 
tinuity is preserved ; and here the houses are in general much lower 
and smaller than elsewhere. The breadth of the town, which no- 
where exceeds a mile and a half^ is defined by a range of low emi* 
nences, running parallel to the shore of the lake, and affording from 
their summit one of the most striking views of the city, the lake, and 
the distant heights of the Pindus chain. 

The interior aspect of loannina, except where there is some opeur 
ing to the landscape that surrounds it, is gloomy, and without splen- 
dour. Few of the streets preserve an uniform line ; a circumstance 
which makes the geography of the place very difiicult to the stranger. 
Those inhabited by the lowest classes consist in great part of wretched 
mud-built cottages, and are chiefly in the outskirts of the city ; the 
middle ranks dwell in a better description of buildings, the upper part 
of which is constructed of wood, with a smallopen gallery ijmder the 

s 2 

1S2 ^^A2^Rn oip toxmawA. ^ 

pmjeckhig roof; the higher classes, both of Greeks and Turks, have in 
geneial Very i large houses, "often foninng two or three sides of the 
aceaa attached to them, &nd iritbiiride galleries -which go along the 
whole front of th)e building, taken as it were from the first floor, and 
sheltered under the rooft. In this styb of building, which is common 
throughotit the Turkish towns, there is something picturesque in the 
distant effect, which' is lost in liie nearer approach^ In the best 
streets of loannina, there is an air of heaviness :. and the mostrespect- 
iible hous^ have the aspect of prisons ; presenting externally little 
more than lofty walls with thaisive double gates, and the windows, if 
seen at all, at the top of the building. 

The Baziars form the most interesting part of the city< They con- 
sist of ten or twdve streets, intersecting each other at irregular angles ; 
very narrow ; and still ftirther darkened* by the low projecting roofk, 
and large wood^i booths in which the ^goods ace exposed to sale. 
As is usual in large towns in Turkey, each Basar has its. appropriate 
object. One xk occupied by those who deal in jewellery, and other 
omaxxnental articles r another by the dealers in pelisses, Turkish 
Bhayrhi and other parts of dressj; a third by the retailers of common 
cotton goods ; 'a fourth by the dealers in groceries, . tobacco, . dried 
fruits, &c« ; a fifth by those who sell pipes^ amber, mouth^pieces, and 
wooden trinkets; another again by the dealers in coloured leather 
and Turkish slippers; As loannina is the resid^iice of many wealthy 
people, and a dep6t besides for a large district of country, some parts 
of these Bacsiars are richly and abundantly famished ; and those in 
particular are very striking which are occupied by jewellery and . 
ornamental articles of dress. 

The most conspicuous building in loannina is undoubtedly the 
great Seraglio, the appearance of which has already been described. 
That in the fortress is of large extent, and contains somefine apart-* 
ments ; but it is old, and some parts of it in a ruinous state. It is 
inhabited chiefly by oflScers and' soldiers of the Viaiar. The Seraglio 
of Mouctar and Veli Pasha nearly adjoin that of their father. The 
former, besides being built with greater regularity, is extremely rich 

rjiiinu&v or tub vizibk 13a 

in its intemal decorations, which are dispoaed .with considerable ,taste 
and e£feet. Monctar Pasha was not at this time at lotonins, but, I 
saw him on my return hither a few months aft^*wards. . I yi9}ted him 
once in an apartment, the alcoTed cieling of wliich fonoed a sort of 
Eidouranion, with a tolerably exact aidherence to tibe Cop^ican 
astronomy. The celestial bodies, comets as well as sun . and pltoets» 
were represented in gold, upon a bams of deep blue ; the eSecX of 
which, was very striking, when limits were placed on the floor below 
the alcove. ' • , y... 

The gardens and pavilion, of the Yikier hl the northern suburb 
form a remarkable object. The gardens indeed are small, but the 
Pavilion, situated in a wooden inclosuie: adjoining . them, affords a 
spectacle of much knagnifioeoce. It is a great saloon ; . I believe 
about 240 . feet in circumference; itaoutiine, howev^, not a perfect 
dnicfe, but formed by the curves of . four sepp^rpte areas or liecesseb, 
which are all open to the great circular atea that occupies the centre 
of the baiiding. The curve, of each recess contains nine windows ; 
these are two large ones also at .the* entrance into the Pavilion. The 
whole ' pavement is "of m^arbie. Jn the centre is a large and defep 
marble basin ; in the middle of which, and likewise in marble, stands 
the model of a pyramidal fortress, inouitted with numerous; cantibn, 
ftom each of which 2ijet tfeau issues, meeting the other 'j«^^ from 
catmon on the outer circumfetence )of tfae'bai;in% The 
completed by a lofty j^ d'etifr from the summit of the pyramid. . A 
small organ, attached to one^of the pillars^in the oeotral .s^tloon, m so 
constructed as to yield- its muac at the time the wata:* is flawing in 
the fountain. The painting, carving, and gilding of the whole Pavi* 
lion are very superb ; each of the four ieees^ being in some^legree 
differently furnished.. Opposite td the great entrance ai^e sfaifs, which 
conduct to- rwo private apaxtmtots of the Vizier. In one of them 
there is a lattice window, through which he can look down into the 
Pavilion ; While, on the 9ide of the > PaviUcHi, a landscape m so 
. skilfully painted on the lattice-^work, that the window might elude 
the most acute eye. ' 


In the small park surrounding this edifice, are several red deer^ 
and a remarkably fine ostrich, brought hither from Egypt. On a 
low terrace in a corner of the park, and almost hidden by some 
ancient chesnut trees, is another small palace of the Vizier ; apparently 
not yet completed, but which he occasionally frequents when visit- 
ing this spot. 

There are sixteen Mosques in loannina, each standing on an open 
space of ground, and generally surrounded by large cypresses. The 
northern mosque of the fortress is the most remarkable of these 
edifices ; apparently as well in size, as in its fine situation over- 
hanging the lake. This was a point to which I ^ften directed my 
walks, while residing in loannina. The magnificence of the view was 
one, but not the only interesting circumstance about this spot The 
silence of the place, even close to so large a city ; a sort of loneliness 
derived from the deep piazzas of the mosque, from the shade of the 
cypresses, and from the tomb-stones underneath them ; the aspect 
of the Turk himself, slowly walking to the doors of the building, and 
scarcely breaking into this loneliness ; — these are the circumstances 
which will interest the stranger, in visiting the mosque of the fortress 
of loannina. 

The number of Greek churches in the city does not exceed seven 
or eight, but some of these are of considerable size. The services of 
the Greek religion, however, cannot here shew themselves in the 
same unrestrained way as in the Ionian Isles ; and though Ali Pasha 
is habitually tolerant in this« respect, yet the usage of some centuries, 
and the number of Mahomedans in the city, repress many of the 
external demonstrations which belong to this church elsewhere, 
loannina is the seat of a Greek archbishop, to whom several bishoprics 
are subordinate in the southern parts of Albania. 

I am unable to speak with cartainty of the population of this city, 
which I have heard variously estimated from twenty-five to forty, or 
even fifty thousand. I should conjecture, from the best information 
I was able to collect, that the real number of inhabitants is about 
30,000, exclusively of the Albaman soldiers who are quartered in 


tlie place. This population is composed of Greeks, Turks, Albatiiaiis, 
and Jews ; the Greeks probably in largest proportion, and certainly 
most respectable in wealth and acquirements. They, too, are the 
^est inhabitants of the city ; many of their families, as it is said, 
having been established here for many centuries : they form the 
great body of merchants at loannina; some are settled officially 
about the court of the Vizier as agents and secretaries ; while others, 
lower in rank, are found in the capacity of shopkeepers and artizans 
throughout the city. 

The Turks of loannina form a numerous body, not to be dis- 
tinguished, however, in any essential feature from the people bf this 
nation elsewhere. Those who are immediately . onployed under the 
Vizier are excited perhaps to a greater activity by the nature of his 
government ; but the remainder exhibit the same indolence, apathy, 
and prejudice, the same customs and deformities of social life, by 
whidi they have long been characterized as a community. Their 
national haughtiness, however, is not equally prominent here as in 
other parts of Turkey. It has been subdued in part by the despotism 
under which they live, and brought more nearly to a level with the 
feeling of the Greeks and Albanians around them. 

The Jews of loannina are to be found as dealers in the Bazars, as 
artizans, and some of them also with employments about theSeraglio^ 
They partake with the Greeks in the advantage of general tolei'- 
ation, and are not, I believe, exposed to any peculiar privations. 
Their burying-ground, for the right of which they pay an annual 
sum, forms an open area in the midst of the city. 

The Albanian residents in loannina are among the lower class of 
inhabitants. Those in the military service of the Vizier are chiefly 
quartered upon, the Greek fainilies, by whom this is fdt as a very 
burdensome and oppressive tax. There are Greek merchants in the 
city who are frequently required to provide lodging, either in their 
own habitations or elsewhere, for forty or fifty men, and those o£ an 
irregular soldiery, little fettered by the restraints of discipline. The 


absence of the Vizier from his capital is, in this respect, a sort of 
jubilee for the principal inhabitants. 

Very few natives of the European nations are to be found at 
loaanina. Mr. G. Eoresti, the English Resident here, was absent 
on business in the loniian Isles, at the time we first visited the city. 
M. Pouqu^ville, the French resident at the court of Ali Pasha, under 
the title of ConsuUGeneral for Albania, had passed seven years 
in this situation, which was socpewhat alleviated to him by ihe 
presence of his brother, who hid the office of consul at - Prevesa. 
M. Pouqufeville was one of the thirty sofvans who attended the French 
expedition to Egypt. Subsequently to this, he published a work, in 
three volumes, on Albania and the Morea, which has been recently 
translated into English. An acquaintance incidentally formed with 
this gentleman, was the source of much satisfisiction to . us during our 
stay at loannina. We found him extremely intelligent and well 
informed m to the present state of Albania, and were indd>ted to 
him for a degree of polite attention, which the nature of his situation 
under a hostile government, could not have entitled us to expect. 

The population of loannina thus, variously composed, bx^ with the 
addition of Arabs, Moors^ and Negroes, affords a curious spectacle 
in all the streets of the city. Somewhat such an assemblage may 
indeed be seen in other Turkish towns, but wanting the numerous 
Albanese soldiery, which forms here so striking and characteristic a 
feature. Of the female part of the population, few, except those of 
the lower class, are to be seen in the public streets, and these few are 
so much concealed by the mode of dress, that they are but as moving 
figures to the eye. The Turkish women of higher rank are seldom 
abroad. Any female of this nation, coming into the streets, is entirely 
coycsed with a dark-<x>loured cloak, excepting the face, which 19 
Ukewise concealed by bands drawn across it, leaving merely a narrow 
transverse opening for the eyes. In Constantinople, and some other 
cities of the East* ttie habits of the Turkish women are less rigorous 
in these respects, and more innovation has crept in upon the national 


cusloms. The usage of the Gredc ladies, with respect to public 
appearance, approaches in some degree to that of the Turks, deter- 
mined partly foy their own habits as a people, pardy by the necessity 
of conformipg to the TurkiiSh customs. They are rarely seen in the 
streets, and when coming abroad, are disguised nearly in a similar* 
way. The Greek and Albanian women of the lower class are not 
subject to these restrictions, and they may be considered the only 
visible female population in the streets of the city. 

The police of loannina is extremely good. The vigilance of Ali 
Pasha extends to every comer of the city ; and patrole^ of Albanian 
soldiers pass the night in the streets to ensure tranquillity. It is a 
good regulation for such a capital, that no one is allowed to walk 
in the streets after dark, without a lamp or torch light. The Bazar» 
are regularly closed at a certain hour of the evening, and I found by 
experience that it was dangerous to be in them after this hour; 
Returning home at one time ftom the banks of the lake, I ent^ed 
one of these streets as they were closing the shops, and was instantly 
attacked by two large and fierce dogs, coming upon their duty as 
ni^A-guards of the place. Though speedily called off by the people 
of the Bara.r, they tore the great coat I had on into various pieces; 
and but for their interference, would have left still more serious marks 
of their fidelity. 

The cUmate of loannina is of course much influenced by its situation, 
and by the lofty chain of mountains which approach and surround 
it. The height of the city above the sea, as derived from barometrical 
observations, may be stated, I believe, at froni 1000 to 1200 feet. 
I regret that I could not obtain here, any register of teniperature for 
different years ; but ftt>m the enquiries I made, and my own obser«- 
vations, I am led to believe that the degree pf winter's cold at 
loannina, though in the latitude of about 89'' 30\ is* on the average 
not less than that of the western parts of England. The winter of 
1812-1813 was, it is true, one of singular severity throughout every 
part of Greece^ as well as id Russi^ and Polandp When w« 


arrived at loantuna^ at the beginning of November, all the higher 
ridges of Pindus were covered with snow. For the first few days 
of our stay here, the weather was extremely fine, but cold; the 
thermometer, at 8 a. m. varying from 40'' to 44''. Several rainy 
days succeeded, with occasional thunder, and much snow fell 
upon Pindus, covering even the greater part of Metzbnkel, the 
mountain' above the lake. Before day-break on the 9th, there 
was a thunder-storm more violent and continued than I ever 
before witnessed ; the effect of the reverberation from the mountains 
Hurrouhding the city xtras beyond measure grand and impressive. I 
was sent fbf to a house in the vicinity of our lodging, to examine 
a man who had been struck by the lightning. From the destructioii 
of th&' texture of a small portion of skin on the foreliead, it api 
peared that the electxic fluid had entered here; the man of course 
died instantly. His brother, who had been standing near him^ 
received a partial shock, which rendered him insensible for some 
time, biit I had no reason to doubt of his final recovery. 

Shicceeding to this stormy weather, we bad Uiree dayd perfectly 
s^roie, with k dear and frosty atmosphere. At 8 a.m. on the Idth^ 
the thermometer was at 40^ ; at the same hour the next day, as low 
as ' SS% with a good deal of ice formed during the night. At 3 pan. 
on the 14th, there were two slight shocks of an earthquake, followed 
by bcavy clouds and rain on the succeeding day. 

The months of January and February were extremely severe at 
loansiina^ with north and north-east winds« The snow lay to a great 
depth upon the plains, and for ten days the lake was so firmly 
frozen over, that th6 peasants every-where crossed it on the ice. 
Towards the middle of March, when I returned hither from Zante^ 
the whole of the higher ridge of Metzoukel was covered with snow; 
and the chain of Pindus presented a succession of snow-covered 
masses to the eye. At this time I more than once saw the ther- 
mometer ^ low as the freezing point; and when at loannina 
afterwards, in thd begiiuiing of April, there was actually a fall of 


«now within the city, with several dayt of very cold and fltomiy 
weather. The temperature of the place in summer I believe to be 
very high. 

I learnt from M. Pouqu^ville, that earthquakes are frequ^t here, 
a circumstance, which might be conjectured from the vicinity to the 
Ionian Isles, where they so often occur ; and perhaps also from the 
corresponding diaracter of the rocks. These earthquakes, as I was 
further informed, are generally followed very soon by rain ; a fai* tp 
which I have before alluded, in. reference to the course of this great 
natural phenomenon. The winds at loannina are often extremely 
v idbent, rendered so by the vicinity of the* mountains, and the long 
vaillijss which traverse theai^ The common temperature o^* spring in 
•the country is 55*" or 56". 

I have already mentioned the extent of the lake. Its d^ith is very 
inconsiderable, and it is terminated at each extremity by low marshy 
land ; that at the northern end running northwards underneath 
the greai ridge of Metzoukel, to another small lake, about $ix miles 
distant frcnn the city. This is the principal issue of the waters firom 
the lake of loannina; a stream flowing in this direction from it» which» 
after passing through the second lake, suddenly enters a 'subterraneai^ 
^Mussage underneath some hmestone hills, and appears again at a 
considerable distance, in a stream which joins the river Kal^xnaL 
What is singular, there seems also to be a subterranean exit of water 
from the northern extremity of the lake, underneath the rude CDags 
of an insulated limestone rock. It is not known with certainty where 
this water spears again ; but probably it is in some part of the 
country between loannina and the gulph of Arta. The supply of 
this lake is derived from springs, and ftom the various mountain- 
torrents which descend into it. 

It may be thought curious, that we have no distinct notice of this 
lake in ancient writers ; minute in some respects as is their account 
of the geography of Epirus. Several modem authors, indeed, have 
spoken of it as the ancient lake Acherusia, and have found the 
Acheron and Cocy tus in the str^ims which enter or issue from it. 

T 2 


But this supposition can in no degree be admitted, distinctly as we 
are informed from various sources of the real situation of the 
Acherusia palusy and the river Acheron. It seems to me a morb 
probable idea, that the lake did not exist, as such, in former times ; 
and this opinion receives confirmation from the shallowness of the 
water, and from the nature of the outlets from it, which might easily 
-admit of being impeded, so as to produce accumulation in the lower 
part of the valley. * 

The lake of loannina aboimds in fish, of which the eels are remark- 
able for the great size they attain. Very fine carp also are caught ia 
it. Its shores and the adjacent mountains are the resort of many 
birds of prey. The white-tailed eagle (falcofuhus)^ the kite, the 
Egyptian vulture (vuUur percnopterus)^ and. other species of vultures ; 
the cormorant (pelicanus carbo)j the crane {ardea virgo et alba)^ and 
several varieties of the genus anasj are, I believe, amongst the most 
remarkable of the birds which frequent this vicinity. The merops 
opiasttTy which is abundant in Candia and other isles of the Medi- 
terranean, is found also in this district. The wild ducks, &c. resorting 
to the lake, fiirnish an excellent game, and boats are almost constantly 
upon the water, with those who occupy themselves in this way. The 
Vizier himself sometimes takes this sport, going out in a small 
brigantine which has been built for his use, and surrounded by 
numerous boats which carry his Albanese soldiers and other at* 
tendanls. The spectacle on these occasions, taking into view the 
surrounding scenery of city and mountains, is extremely imposing. 
The most common boats on the lake are the Manoxylaj made, like 
those at Santa-Maura, from a single piece of wood. 

The rocks in the vicinity of loannina belong to the great calcareous 
formation already described. In some eminences near the north^n 

* It was told me at loannina, 1 cannot say with what truth, that in one part of the 
lake, the remains of a pavement and buildings were observable at the bottom. I recollect 
also Ali Pasha telling me, that if it was worth while to bestow sufficient labour and money 
upon it, he believed he couldalmost entirely C|«y off the water df the lake. 




miA of the lake, the interposition of the layers of flint in the limestone 
is very diistinctly seen. 

The elevated plains of the city and the neighbouring mountains 
exhibit a great variety of plants, of which the catalogue given in the 
Appendix to this volimie, though I was prevented by various causes 
from rendering it perfect, will afford the reader some idea. 

The history of loannina, as distinct from that of Albania, may be 
comprized in a short compass. There is no evidence of which I am 
aware, that any city existed on this spot in the times of the ancient 
Epirus, though by scnne writers it is spoken of as Cassiope, one of 
the most considerable cities of this region. The earliest accounts we 
have of loannina-^re from the Byzantine writers ; and from them we 
may collect, that it already existed as a city in the eleventh* century, 
and progressively increased in consequence, forming a sort of metro- 
polis, during a part of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, to the 
principality which was founded by Michael Angelus, at the commence- 
ment of this period. The wariike and tumultuous tribes of Albanians 
frequently infested and sometimes occupied thecity-f-; audit required a 
powerful expedition of Andronicus Pale^logus II., aided by a Persian 
force, to reduce them to obedience in this region. During the whole of 
this period of conflicts between the power of the Greeks, Turks, and 
Albanians, loandina partook generally in the fortunes of the princi- 
pality. In 1431 the general of the Sultan Amurath II., after having 
captured Thessalonica, and occupied other parts of this country, 
attacked and finally took the city after a siege, of which we have 
several particulars from the Byzantine historians :|:. Since this period 

* ABiia Comnena (Alexiad. lib.v. cap. i.) describes the capture of loannina by Bohe- 
moncL As she applies the epithet ivM-faXif to the walls of the fortress at this time^ we may 
perhaps presume that the dty was of considerably earlier date than th^ eleventh century. 
There are still the remains of some mined walls in the fortress of loannina, but I am 
ignorant to what period they may be referred. 

4- Chalcocondylas, p. 13* &c 

} Oialcooond. lib. y. p. 1 26. Phrauza. cp. 


loanaina, with the surrounding country, has formed a PashaUk^ 
irregularly submitted to the Turkish power, and partaking at intervab 
ill the petty wars which have distracted the country. Its acquisition 
by Ah Pasha procured him the title of Pasha of loannina, which, 
however, has been almost lost as a name in the general extension 
of his power to the adjoining provinces. 

Though loannina itself does not shew the vestiges of a remote 
antiquity, there are several places in the surrounding district which 
are remarkable from their remains. • The fine theatre, and other 
ruins of the ancient city under Mount Olitzka, will be noticed in a 
succeeding part of my narrative. On the limestone ridge at the 
southern extremity of the lake, are the considerable remains of 
Hellenic walls, testifying the site of some town or fortress, the par-^ 
ticular name of which it is difficult to conjecture among the many 
cities and castles of the ancient Epirus. The same difficulty occurs 
with regard to other similar ruins occupying the tabular summit of 
an insulated eminence, three miles to the north of loannina, and on 
the right hand of the road to Zitza. The walls here, composed of 
vast blocks of stone, circle the whole summit of the eminence, and 
enclose the vestiges of other buildings now razed to the ground. 1 
was unable to find any inscriptions here, which might convey a 
knowledge of the former history of the spot*. Such remains as these 
are extremely common in every part of Epirus ; nor can it be con- 
sidered surprizing, when we read of the seventy cities of this region, 
destroyed by PauUus ^milius, and see the catalogue given by 
Procopius of' nearly a hundred castles erected or repaired by the 
orders of Justinian in the same country .-f- 

From the particular situation of loannina, it is not certain to which 
of the divisions of ancient Epirus this district belonged. Probably, 

* There is a half legible Latin inscription on a stone, in the yard of the Greek monas- 
tery at the foot of the hiU, but it does not appear to be of any importance^ or to record 
any date. 

f Procop. lib.iy. iBdifidis. 


according to the changes in these divisions themselves, it might 
appertain successively to Thesprotia and Molossia, or perhaps (if 
we follow Ptolemy) to the region of Cassiopeia, lyhich seems to have 
occupied this central part of the country. 

The question regarding the situation of Dodona, the most ancient 
of the Greek orades, has generally been connected, more or less 
directly,* with the country surrounding loannina ; and various travellers 
and scholars have* exercised themselves in conjectures on this su]bject| 
interesting doubtless from its relation to Grecian history. 

Almost all the authors of antiquity, froo) H«siod and Homer down 
to much later writers, refer to the temple, the oracle, and the woods 
of Dodona ; and this reference Is generally in terms which express 
the opinion aitertained of the peculiar antiquity and sanctity of the 
place*. Aristotle mentions the deluge, of: which a distinct tradition 
prevailed in .every age of Greece, as having occurred particularly in 
the country about Dodona and the river Achelous ; and in the . same 
passage he speaks of this region as the ancimt Hellas^ inhabited by tJfp 
Selloij and by those who were then called Gr^Eci^ but now Hellenes. Our 
learned countryman, Bryant, has. sought to explain die histories of 
the deluge and of Deucalion, as they stand connectejd in ancient 
writings with the situation and oracular fame of Dodon^, by sup- 
posing that the Arkite worship, originating in the scriptural record of 
the flood, was first brought to this place from Thebes in Egypt, and 
formed the foundation of its mysteries, and of the future sanctity of 

* HerodotUB, who appears to have gone himself to Dodona to consult the oracle upon 
the origin of the gods, (lib. ii. c. 50.) calls it a^euvretnv row fv "EAXijo-i x?^^?'^' ^^ ^ 

HoM. IL xvL T. 233. 
Aristotle^ qMakingdrtheddiige^ says, Koi yof 'nrv; vtf^ roy 'EAAigyixoy rymro ftaAiroc ro^oy, 
luir^vymifi n}y 'EXXaim'nfpafx^um. Aurn S^ifirn «"$< '"P^ A»S»yi)y km roy Ax'Afiooy- (fx^y y«f 
•I ScXXm lyrmiAa, xm i$ Ji M^nfAcroi T9Tt fbty F^koi, yoy Sf 'EAAi^yfs* 

Aristot. Meteor.,., lil^.i^ c. 14. 

Hutarch (in vita Pyrrhi) speaks of the oracle of Dodona as establish^^ 


the spot. For this opinion he derives arguments from Herodotus, 
who gives the story of two female priestesses, represented allegoricallj 
as black doves, that were carried, away from the temple of Jupiter at 
Thebes ; one of whom was .transported into Libya, while the other 
•came to Dodona, where she established the oracle and.the worship of 
Jupiter*^. In reference to this origin, it appears that the priests of 
the temple of Dodona continued to be called Peleiadea or doves ; and 
under this metaphorical character, (derived, as Bryant conceives, 
from the tradition of the ark and doves of Noah,) they are alluded to 
by various writers of antiquity -f-. Their oracular responses were held 
in great veneration throughout Greece, and it may easily be conceived 
that the comparative ronoteness of the oracle, its situation in -a moun** 
tainous region, surrounded by forests, and the fountain of fire in its 
vicinity, would afford many circumstances deeply and peculiarljf^ 
impressive to the feelings of a superstitious age. We do not possess 
many details respecting the temple of Jupiter at this place ; but. it 
may be presumed that it was large and splendid, and enriched by 
numerous votive offerings.^ 

The modem inquiry respecting the situation of Dodona has beeii 
perplexed, by the different position assigned to it in ancient authors ; 
some placing the seat of the oracle in Thesprotia, others in Molossia.; 
others again in the district of Chaonia. This difference is explained 

* Herod Kb.iL c 54, 55. 

f rifAfiflii 

T^fflovi;, ou T afuSfOCky^v An varg^ fifttirtv. 

HoM. Odyss. lib. xii. v, 62, 
See also Herodotus, lib, iL c 57., the verses of Silius ItiJicus, lib. iiL v. 678., and Straboi 
lib. ix. The speculations of Mr. Bryant upon the connection of the JDodoncean traditions 
and worship with the history of the flood and the religious adoration paid to Noah under 
the name of Zeus or Jupiter, are marked by the accustomed boldness and ingenui^ of this 
writer. Whatever be thought of the controversy regarding the Apamean medal, he has 
at least executed a great work in collecting all the scattered traditions with respect to the 
deluge ; and has succeeded in rendering it probable^ tkat the memory of this event waa 
preserved in various names, ceremonies, and superstitions, as well of the Oredan asof^fae 
Egyptian mythology. See Bryanf s Antient Mythology, vol iii^ 
% Polyb. Jib. iv. c^ 7, 


by considering the irregularity and frequent change in the divisions 
of Epirus, particularly in those districts which border on the chain of 
Pindus. Strabo himself informs us, that Dodona, which lij the more 
ancient writers was placed in Thesprotia, was afterwards considered 
as in the country of the Molossi ; and the limits of Chaonia were too 
vaguely ascertained, to render it surprising that this region also should 
be mentioned as the seat of the oracle. The speculations of modem 
travellers have in general fixed its situation in thje country to the 
north of loannina; and by ;^ style of research, perhaps more minute 
than reasonable, any large assemblage of oaks in this district has been 
interpreted into a vestige of the ancient forest of Dodona. Scrofkni, 
an Italian traveller who visited loannina, speaks of Dodona as one 
or two days journey north of the city ; but in so loose and uncertain 
a way, as to afford no weight to his opinion. M. Barbie du Bocage 
has fixed the situation of the oracle at Protopapas, a village at some, 
distance to the north of the lake of loannina ; and M • Pouqu^viUe 
appears to entertain the same general idea. I confess that these 
opinions do not appear to me to be confirmed by any evidence ; nor 
can I regard as more accurate that of a literary Greek, who places 
Dodona in the country to the east of loannina, and north of the river 
Kalama. A careful r^erence to all the passages, in which it is men- 
tioned by ancient writers, has led me to believe, that its real situation 
was to the south or south-east of loannina, and underneath the great 
mountain of Tzumerka« This mountain, the position of which has 
already been, referred to, I consider to have been the Tomarus of 
antiquity ; below which, according to Strabo, stood the temple of 
Dodona. The evidences of this opinion I have briefly stated in the 
subjoined note*. I have not myself been in that part of the country, 

* The circumstance of Dodona being' successively included by the ancients in Thes- 
protia and Molossia, points out its situation near the common boundary of these two 
regions, which we know to have been in the vicinity of die Aracthus*; perhaps at one time 
actually formed by this river. The passage of Homer, (Iliad, iL 749.) * 

Oi vrcgi A0oSfl0y)|y Suo'^^fijMgov 01x1' c9evro, 



between the river of Arta and the Aspropotami, the ancient Ache- 
lous ; and I am not aware that there are any remains in this district 
which couW be interpreted as the vestiges of the oracle. Perhaps, 
indeed, the evidence of Strabo, Poly bias, and Dion Cassius may 
suffice to prove, that little, if any thing, can now remain of the ancient 
temple of Dodona*. Nevertheless, I consider it probable that the 

may be considered as a further proof of its position in or near the valley of the Aracthus^ 
if, as appears most probable, the Perrsebri inhabited the upper part of this valley. Aris- 
totle, in a passage already quoted, describes the ancient HelliEis, as ^^ that region whkh is 
about Dodona and the Achelous;" from which it may be inferred with probability* that 
Dodona was on the eastern side of the Aracthus, and between that river and the Ache- 
lous. The situation pf the great and remarkable mountain oi Tzumerka in this particular 
district is a further confirmation of the opinion, as pointing out the ancient Tomarus, 
underneath which, according to Strabo, stood the temple; and around the roots of which 
were a hundred fi^untains. (Plin. Hist«Nat« lib,iv. cf^.1.) The epithets of StiTp^n/M^^ and 
duvtiyorro; which Homer and ^schylns severally apply to Dodon% (Prom. Vinct v.SigJ) 
though certainly applicable to many other parts of Epirus, yet unquestionably well accord 
with the situation just pointed out. Hesiod indeed has described Hellopia, in the extreme 
part of which he says Dodona was built, as a district vroXuXffiof i}S* «uXci/mdf ; and ApoUodorus 
has spoken of the marshes surrounding the temple ; but perhaps neither of these descriptions, 
admitting them to be minutely accurate, are applicable to the character of the vallies in the 
mountainous r^ons of Epirus. I cannot venture to seek a ftuther testimony in the forests 
which are now so luxuriant in the vaUey of the river Arta, being aware how Utile value 
such an argument would have^ afler a Ifl^se of more than twen^ ages from the period of 
the ancient Dodona. 

On the whole then, though without the evidence of actual observation, I am disposed 

' to believe^ that Dodona was situated in the country between the river of Arta and the 

Aspropotami, and underneath the mountain of Tzmnerka. I would not give this opinion 

with perfect confidence, but I certainly think it more probable than the other situations 

which have been assigned to the oracle. 

The editors of the French Strabo (tom.iii. p.ii6, 117.) seem to agree with the' 
Suidas mentioned by Strabo, and with one of the commentators upon Homer, in thinking 
fhat there was a Dodona in Thessaly as well as one in Epirus. Admitting this to be 
proved, it does not interfere with the question respecting the situation of the latter. See 
the Commentary of Eustathius on the second book of the Iliad. 

* Polyb.lib.iv. c.7. Dio. Cass. Fragment. — Strabo (lib.vii. 328.}, after speaking of 
the changes in,- and desolation of Epirus, adds^ that <^ the Q;*acle of Dodona has disap- 
peared, in like maxiner as other things." 


situation might yet be ascertained : and I should recommend, as one 
object in directing the research, the fountain ofjire^ which gave sanctity 
to the seat of the oracle. A succeeding part of my narrative will 
shew that similar phenomena of nature continue in existence, while 
the wonders of art, which were employed to consecrate them to the 
veneration of the ancient worlds have long since been consigned to 
oblivion and decay. 


( 148 ) 






T HAVE already spoken generally of the population of loannina; but, 
-^ as the Greek portion of it is that most interesting to the stranger, 
from the greater facility of intercourse with this people and from 
their superior cultivation, I shall enter into a few details regarding 
the commerce, literature, and social customs of this class of the 

loannina, though an inland city, and surrounded by mountains, 
has long had much commercial importance ; and the traveller will be 
surprized to find here, merchants who have large connections, not 
only with the different parts of Turkey, but also with Germany, 
Italy, and Russia, The direct traffic, indeed, through loannina is 
small, compared with that in which the Greeks of the place are 
engaged, through their connections in foreign countries. The general 
origin and nature of these connections may be explained in a few 
words. The active spirit of the Greeks, deprived in great measure of 
political or national objects, has taken a general direction towards 
commerce. But, fettered in this respect also, by their condition on 
the continent of Greece, they emigrate in considerable numbers to 
the adjacent countries, where their activity can have more scope 
in the nature of the government. Some branches of the migrating 
families, however, are always left in Turkey, either from necessity, 
from the possession of property in the country ; or from the con- 
venience to both parties in a commercial point of view. Thus by 


fer the greater part of the exterior trade of Turkey, in the exchange 
of commodities, is. carried on by Greek houses, which have residents 
at home, and branches in various cities of Europe, mutually aiding 
each other; and by means of the latter, extending their concerns 
much more variously than could be done in Turkey alone. 

This description is entirely a{>pl]cable to the comnkerce of 
Ipannina. Many of the merchants here have extensive continental 
connections, which are often family ones likewise. An instance at 
this time occurs to me of a Greek &mily, with which I was intimate, 
where, of four brothers, one was settled at loannina, another^ at 
Moscow, a third at Constantinople, and the fourth in some part of 
Germany ; ail connected together in their concerns. Many other 
examples of the same kind inddentally came to my knowledge. A 
circumstance tending! to maintain this foreign relation, besides the 
interests which are often answered by iU is the system of Ali Pasha,^ 
never to allow a femily to quit his territory, unless leaving, behind 
some principal members of it, a,nd their propaty also,, to be re* 
sponsible for their final return. This method of preventing emi- 
gration has the effect of retaining in loannina branches of all the 
ancient families of the place, and thereby of keeping, up commercial 
connections, which otherwise might be transferred elsewhere. 

Most of the merchants here are men who have travdled much in 
Europe, are well instructed in European habits,, and speak several 
of the continental languages. Their principal couiections are with 
Germany and Russia, an intercourse which has been maintained for 
a long period. The port of Trieste has generally been a great 
channel of Greek trade, and many Greek houses are established 
there, with relation to other houses in Vienna, Leipsic, and various 
places in the interior of Germany. The ccmnection with Russia 
depends partly upon the relative situation of Greece; in some degree 
perhaps on the similarity of religion, and the political relation wHch 
Russia has had at times with this people. The principal branches 
of several loannina houses resided. at Moscow previously to the 
destruction of that capital, .and probably have isince res^^ned their 


aituation. A large amount of Greek property was lodged in the 
bank there, including the funds of several public institutions^ schoob^ 
&c. We were in loannina at the time the news of the burning of 
Moscow arrived ; and living chiefly among merchants, could judge 
of the great sensation this event excited, among them. The losses 
sustained by some individuals in the. destruction of their magazines 
were very great; and loannes Mela, the young Greek already 
mentioned, estimated his at some thousand pounds* . I hsid the 
satisfaction of afterwards learning that it was less than he at first 

A considerable part of the cottons and cotton yams of Thessaly^ 
as well as the coarse woollen manufactures of the country, have 
generally been transmitted through loannina for exportation to Italy 
and Germany. Of late years, owing to the impediments to trade 
on this side, a larger proportion of these cottons has been forwarded 
by overland carriage, from Salonica and otha^ places. 

Albania, and the neighbouring districts, are in great measure 
supplied with articles of commercial demand through the merchants 
of loannina ; this city dierefore forming a dep6t of much importance 
in the country. The commerce, adapted to the wants of the popu* 
lation, is. of course of a very miscdlaneous kind. £ach merchant 
pursues his trade in a variety of articles, which he obtains through 
his connections in Germany and Italy ; or latterly, to a greater extent 
perhaps from the island of Malta, l^e nature of these imports I have 
detailed in speaking of the c(Hnmerce of the gulpk of Arta, whic(h 
is in fact intermediate to that of loannina. There is a sort of £dc 
hdd in the neighbourhood of the city every autumn, which collects 
many people from the different districts of the country ; and here the 
various imported goods, which pass through the merchants of 
loannina, are disposed of in retsul to a large amount. 

The general bxport trade of Albania, consisting of grain, timber, 
tobacco, wool, oil, &c., is conducted in part by the loannina mer* 
chants, in connection with thdir import trade. Of grain the Vizier 
himself is the great monopolist fot exportation. The plains, adjoini^ 


ittg the city, are rich in' their produce of wheat and maize, which are 
sent down to be shipped at Salaora. The tobacco grown in this 
and other districts further to the north, is chiefly collected at 
loannina for export, and both in quantity and quality forms a com- 
mercial article of some value. 

The Greeks of loannina are celebrated among their countrymen 
for their literary habits, and unquestionably merit the repute they 
have obtained from this source. The literature of the place is 
intimately connected with, and depending upon its commercial 
character. The wealth acquired by many of the inhabitants gives 
them the means of adopting such pursuits themselves, or encouraging 
them in others. Their connections in Germany and Italy, and 
frequent residence in these countries, tend ftirther to create habits of 
this kind, and at the same time furnish those materials for literary 
progress, which would be wanting in their own country. At the 
present time, nearly two-thirds of the modem Greek publications aire 
translations of European works ; and whatever may be said of the 
powers of undirected genius, it is cei'tainly better that for some time 
it should continue to be so. Such translations are often both sug- 
gested and executed abroad, and the presses at Venice, Vienna. 
Leipsic, Moscow, and Paris, are all made subservient to the active 
industry of these people in forwarding the literature of their country, 
The extensive traffic of the Greeks of loannina is frirther a means 
of rendering this city a sort of mart for books, which are brought 
hither from the continent when printed ; and from this point diflused 
over other parts of Greece. At the dogana of Arta, I have seen 
numerous packages of books on their way to loannina, and in the 
city itself there are several shops, which have long been known for 
their extensive dealings in this branch of business. 

There are two academies in the city ; at which, in sequel to each 
other, the greater part of the young Greeks at loannina are' in- 
structed. The Gymnasium, if such it may be called, of Athanasius 
Psalida, ranks as the first of these ; and has acquired some repu- 
tation from the character of the tnaster himself, who is considered as 


one of the chiefs of the literature of modern Greece. It is true that 
there are others who have written more ; but Psalida has trayelled 
rnuch^ is master of many languages, a good classical scholar, a sharps 
sighted critic, a poet, and versed besides in various parts of the liter- 
ature and science of European nations. His only avowed work, as 
far as I know, is one intitled, " True Happiness^ or the Basis of all 
Religious Worship *,"' in which a general tone of sceptical opinion is 
the predominant feature. He is the author also, but anonymously, of 
a singular compound of prose and poetry, called *E^cS}og hvortXtciiMra^ 
printed at Vienna in 17^2 ; and probably may have partakeai in 
other works with which I am unacquainted. The funds of the aca- 
demy which Psalida superintends, are lodged in the bank of Mos- 
cow. He has a great number of public pupils, whom he instructs not 
only in the languages, but also in history, geography, and various 
branches of general philosophy. He has one or two assistants in hiai 
labours ; but it is the reputation of his own name which maintains 
the character of the school. 

The other academy of loannina is one 6f lower stamp, and de- 
voted to a younger class of scholars. It is conducted at present by 
an elderly Greek, of the name of Valano, very respectable and indus* 
trious, but with less learning than PsaUda. The father of Valano, 
who preceded him in this office, is the author of one or two matlie- 
matical works of some eminence in the country. The school is sup- 
ported in great part by the noble benefactions of the Zosimades, one 
of the greatest and nu)$t wealthy of the modern Greek famiUes. Two 
of the brothers of Zosima are resident in Italy, a third in Russia. I 
have learnt that the sums they annually transmit to loannina, in the 
form of books, of funds for the school, and of other literary bene- 
factions, do not fell short of 20,000 piastres. This is a splendid 
instance of genuine and well-directed patriotism .-f v 

* Akffii^i EtfSaijxovioc, j(1oi /3ao-i; moun\^ d^o-xsioe;. To/x. 2. Ev. Biewi]. 179 1, 
f Many other instances might be cited of the generous and intelligent spirit of the 
Zosimades. Various books havejbeen published and circulated at their e^penoe for the use 


Among the principal Greek fkmilkSs of loannina, there axe some 
which hsixe no unmediate connection with trade, but live i^n the 
prop^j they inherit from their ancestors, or what has been more 
recently derived from commerce. This was the case with our hoai;^ 
Metzou, who has an independent property, chiefly in land, amount- 
ing in English money to about 1,000/. a-year. Even without the 
exterior of an aristrocracy, family aptiquity and connections have a 
good deal of weight here, and procure respect independaitly of mere 

The manner of living among the Greeks of loannina is on the 
whole Yesry uniform, and rendered more so than it might otherwise be, 
by the political pressure under which they all bend. Though the same 
circumstance has its effect in limiting the extent and enjoyments of 
society, yet it must be allowed that in this city there is much 
social intercourse of a pleasant kind, at least equal in its merits to 
any that I have found in Spain, Portugal, or Sicily ; and superior 
certainly to what will be met with elsewhere in Greece* The vivacity 
of the Greeks always gives character to their society ; and in loannina 
this is aided by the intelligence and acquirements they have derived 
from European intercourse. There will be found here, however, as 
in other parts of Greece, a great disparity in this respect between 
the sexes, which indeed may be easily explained by the relative 
circumstances of each. Even in the ancient times of the country, 
this disparity appears to have existed; and it is not surprizing 
that it should have been maintained or increased by the influenpe 
of Turkish usages, operating upon a subjected people. The Grecian 
females of the higher class can scarcely be said to receive any 
education, except such as may casually be derived from their 


of the'Gredu. During the last few yean they have supported fat this vmy the important 
work of Korai, called the Hdlenic lifarary (B»€xio^ki| *EXXi|wiei|)| of iivhich several volumes 
Ipbealready been publidied at Pari% containing the wods of Jsoacates^ Plutarch} J£2iap» 
IV^yaenufl^ jSEiopy 8ux 



domestic associates of the other sex. They have none of the advan- 
tages which the men obtain from travel, but are secluded in great 
measure from admixture with the world, and seldom leave the gal- 
leries or apartments of their own houses, but when going to attend 
the sernces of the church, or to enjoy the luxury of the warm baths* 
Custom has gone yet further, in denying to a betrothed couple the 
privilege of seeing each other till the moment of marriage, — a usage 
which may be supposed pecuharly injurious to the female party ; 
and which, though often infringed upon, yet, generally speaking, 
is maintained with strictness by all the orthodox Greek families. I 
have known an instance where an excellent young man, who had 
travelled much and gained Tnany accomplishments, was ardently 
desirous of seeing and instructing himself the young girl to whom 
he was betrodied from family considerations. The thing, however, 
was impossible. Her family warmly opposed the desire ; and the 
molment the lover was known to be approaching the house, she was 
hurried away to an apartment where she might be secluded fix)m his 
sight. In another instance I was present at a Greek marriage, where 
the bride and bridegroom had actually never met before. The lady 
indeed ^^ thought she had seen her husband once^ in the church, but 
was not certain if it were really the same person.'' 

The Greek women are married when very young, a circumstance 
which further intercepts any thing like education in early Ufe. I 
have known girls betrothed when not more than ten or eleven; 
and they are frequently married at the age of thirteen or fourteen. 
In these countries, as is well known, human life is some steps before* 
hand in its progress to maturity ; is earlier also in the commencement 
of decay. Little cause have we to envy a climate which shortens the 
bloom of youth, and the beauty of adult age ; takes from the period of 
mental educatioQ, and thereby renders the long latter stage of life 
more burdensome in itself, a^d less gracefril ai^d dignifi.ed in the eyes 
of others. The dependence and inferiority of women in the East*, 
whatever are its other causes, may certainly be attributed in great 


part to that different proportion in the stages of life, which makes 
them for a few years the play-things of man, afterwards the subjects 
of his contempt and disregard. 

The effect of these circmnstances is distinctly marked in the Greek 
women, notwithstanding a grace, or even refinement of manner, 
which gives for the time a sanction to the want of other accompUsh- 
ments. Their conversation, though generally lively, yet is deficient 
in variety ; they read but little, and are affected with many super- 
stitious fedings and practices. There is an air of indolence in the 
carriage of a Greek lady, which, though alluring perhaps to the 
stranger from attitude, dress, and a reference to oriental custom, 
would soon lose its charm in the fatigue of unifortuity. All the move- 
ments are slow and languid, and the occupations which occur are 
performed with a sort of listlessness, that seems ever passing again 
into a state of inaction. Yet it must be allowed, that there is in t^ese 
women a femibine softness of mann^, which wins admiration ; as 
there is also in their habit and style of dress, something which gains 
upon the fancy, in its relation to the costume and magnificence of the 
East. Their address is usually graceful and engaging ; and both in 
the course of medical practice and otherwise,. I have met with Greek 
females of the higher class at loannina, whose propriety of demeanour 
might have fitted them for most European circles. 

Repressed, however, by the customs and necessities already alluded 
to, they take little more than an inactive or negative part in society. 
Though not secluded from intercourse with the men who visit their 
houses, whether Greeks or foreigners, they seldom exchange visits 
with other families, or partake in any common social amusements. 
Their female friends they chiefly see when at the baths ; and this pro* 
bably forms an inducement to pass more time there than is desireable 
for health, or even for personal beauty, which suffers materially in 
most instances from the general relaxation of habit thus brou^t on. 
At home they are occupied in the general direction of their domestic 
concerns, a task rendered little laborious from the greater simpUcity 
which belongs to the Greek manner of living, as well as from the 

X 2 


numerous female domestics attached to a Greek family* In the 
number of female attendants, and also in the familiarity they main-- 
tain with their mistresses, may be recognized a feature of the customs 
of ancient Greece, as we have them from the dramatic and other 
writers. The nurse, in particular, always forms a principal person 
in the household ; and obtains a veneration from the family, which 
likewise belonged to the ancient customs of the country. The 
Greek lady, with some of those servants in her train, may be seen 
at times walking up and down the shaded galleries of the house ; her 
most frequent occupation that of twisting silk thread ; her move- 
ment taking an air of indolence from the dragging walk which is 
rendered necessary by the loose slippers she wears. At other times, 
her slippers thrown off, she is seen reclining, in the manner of the 
country, on the couches of an inner apartment ; the rich and ample 
drapery of her dress flowing loosely around ; her common employ- 
ment, if she has any, the working of embroidery, or twisting of silk 
thread. Here she generally receives any visitors who may arrive, 
the master of the house at the same time smoking with his friends on 
the adjoining couches. 

The traveller who merely resides at Athens may object to this pic* 
ture of the Grecian women, as exhibiting greater social restraint Aan 
that to which they are aetually exposed. But it must be remarked, 
that in Athens their situation is somewhat peculiar, owing in part to 
the pfedomfnance of the Greeks over the Turks in this city ; still more 
to the frequent intercourse with European travellers who visit, or are 
resident in the place. The situation of the Athenian females is one of 
greater freedom ; and they indulge in various forms of amusement, 
which are almost unknown in the more ri^d society of loannina, 

A slight sketdi of the manner in which we lived, during our resi- 
dence in the latter place, may afford the reader a better idea of the 
domestic and social usages of the modem Greeks, than could be 
given by any general remarks on this subject. Our host has already 
been nientioned as a man of independent property, and ancient 
family. Though seemingly fortunate, however, in external condition^ 


u cast of nielancholy had been given to a mind naturally gentle and 
timid, by various occurrences of life. His father had been killed by 
the hands of a Turk ; he himself at one time had felt his life in danger, 
and there was obviously a sense of constant apprehension hanging 
upon his spirits, less perhaps for his own, than for the safety of his 
£simily. I speak it from the experience of much intercourse with 
him, when I say that I have seldmn known so generous and affec- 
tionate a temper, or one that bore with such meekness the burden 
that weighed upon his mind. His wife, with more vivacity and 
much beauty^ had the same excellent qualities of heart, and their 
domestic relations were evidently of the most exemplary kind. Their 
family consisted of two sons, two daughters, and an elderly lady 
nearly related to our host. The ddest daughter, at this time eleven 
years old, was a pretty and engaging girl ; the boys, Alexius and 
Stephanos, still younger, and the most perfect models of juvenile 
beauty I ever recollect to have seen ; the Grecian style of counten* 
ance already formed in both, and set off by the open forehead, and 
by the long hair flowing down behind from under the small red cap, 
which is worn on the top of the head. This custom of shaving the 
hair flrom the forehead has been noticed as common among all the 
Albanian soldiers, and it is in fact general with every class throughout 
this country. It may, I believe, be recognized as the remnant of a 
usage which was not unknown in the ancient times of Greece.* 

The habitation of our host resembled those which are common in 
the country^ Externally to the street, nothing is seen but a high 
stone wall, with the summit of a small part of the inner building. 
Xarge double gates conduct you into an outer area, from which you 
pass through other gates into an inner square, surrounded on three 
sides by the buildings of the house; The basement story is con*- 

* Plutarch (in yit Thes.) speaks of Theseus as diavmg the fore-part of his head, to 
o%r the hair at Delphi; and Homer gives to the Abantes of EuboeilA the epithet of 
•iri ky Mfiomlisy whidi) as a description, accurately applies U> the Albanian ci these tipies. 
IL lih^iL v.54a» 


structed of stone, tlie upper part of the structure almost entirely of 
wood. A broad gallery passes along two sides of the area, open in 
front, and shaded over-head by the roof of the building. To this 
gallery you ascend by a flight of stairs ; the doors which conduct to 
the different living rooms of the house all going from it. In this 
country it is uncommon, except with the lower classes, to live upon ' 
the ground-floor, which is therefore generally occupied as out-build- 
iugs ; the first floor being that always inhabited by the fiunily. In 
the house of our host there were four or five^which might be called 
living rooms, furnished with couches, carpets, and looking-glasses, 
which, with the decorations of the ceiling and walls, may be con- 
sidered as almost the only appendages to a Grecian apartment. The 
principal room (or what with us would be the drawing-room) was 
large, lofly, and decorated with much richness. Its height was suffi- 
cient for a double row of windows along three sides of the apart- 
ment ; all these windows, however, being small, and so situated as 
merely to admit light, without allowing any external view. The 
ceiling was profusely ornamented with painting and gilding upon 
carved wood; the walls divided into pannels, and decorated in the 
same way with the addition of several pier-glasses. A couch or 
divan, like those described in the Seraglio, passed along three sides 
of the apartment, and superseded equally the use of chairs and tables, 
which are but rarely found in a Greek house. 

The dining-room was also large, but furnished with less decoration, 
and the same with the other living apartments. The kitchen and 
servants' rooms were connected by a passage with the great gallery ; 
but this gallery itself formed a privileged place to all the members of 
the family, and it was seldom that some of the domestics might not 
be seen here partaking in the sports of the children, and using a fami- 
liarity with their superiors, which is sufficiently common in the south 
of Europe, but very unusual in England. Bed-chambers are not to 
be sought for in Greek or Turkish habitations. The sofas of their 
living apartments are the place of nightly repose yh$h the higher 
classes ; the floor with those of inferior rank. Upon the sofes are' 


spread their cotton or woollen mattrasses^ cotton sheets, son^etimes 
with worked muslin trimmings, and ornamented quilts. Neither m^i 
nor women take off more than a small part of their dress ; and the 
lower classes seldom make any change whatever before throwing 
themselves down among the coarse woollen cloaks which form their 
nightly covering. In this point, the Oriental customs are greatly 
more simple than thode of civilized Europe. 

The separate communication of the roon^s with, an open gallery 
renders the Greek houses very cold in winter, of which I had reason 
to be convinced during both my residences At loannina. The higher 
class of Greeks sddom use any other means of artificial w&rmth than, 
a brazier of charcoal placed in the middle of the apartment, trusting 
to their pelisses and thick clothing for the rest. Sometimes the brazier 
is set under a table, covered with a thick rug cloth, which falls down 
nearly to the Aoot. The heat is thus confined, and the feet of those 
sitting round the table, acquire sooii an agreeable Warnith, which is 
difiused to the rest of the body. 

The family of Metzou generally rose before eight o'clock. Their 
breakfast consisted simply of one or two cups of coffee, served up 
with a salver of sweet«*meats, but without any more substantial food. 
In consideration to our grosser morning appetites, bread, honey, and 
rice milk were added to the repast which was set before us. Our 
host, who was always addressed with the epithet of Affendi by his 
children and domestics, passed much of the morning in. smoking, in 
walking up and down the gallery, or in talking with his friends who 
called upon him. Not being engaged in commerce, and influenced 
perhaps by his natural timidity, he rarely quitted the house ; and I 
do not recollect to have se«i him more than five or six times beyond 
the gates of the area of his dwelling. His lady meanwhile was 
engaged either in directing her household affairs, in working em- 
broidery, or in weaving silk thread. The boys were occupied during 
a part of the mcwrning in learning to read and write the Romaic with 
a young man who officiated as pedagogue ; the mode of instruction 
not differing much from that common elsewhere. ^ 


The dinner hoOT of the fiamily was usually between twelve and one, 
but from compliance to us, they delayed it till two o'clock. Sum^ 
moned to the dining-room, a female domestic, in the usage of the 
East, presented to each person in succession a large bason with soap, 
and poured tepid water upon the hands from a brazen ewer. This 
finished, we seated ourselves at the table, which was simply a circular 
pewter tray, still called Trapezaj placed upon a stool, and without 
cloth or other appendage. The dinner consisted generally of ten or 
twelve dishes, presented singly at the table by an Albanian servant, 
clad in his national costume. The dishes afforded some, though not 
great variety ; and the enumeration of those at one dinner qiay suffice 
as a general example of the conunon style of this repast in a Gjreek 
family of the higher cla,8s : — First, a dish of boiled rice flavoured 
with lemon juice; then a plate of mutton boiled to rags; another 
plate of mutton cooked with spinach or onions, and rich sauces ; a 
Turkish dish composed of force m^t with vegetables, made into balls ; 
another Turkish dish, which appears as a large flat cake, the outside 
of a rich and greasy paste, the inside composed of eggs, vegetables, 
with a small quantity of meat : following this, a plate of baked 
mutton, with raisins and almonds, boiled rice with oil, omelet balls, 
a dish of thin cakes made of flour, eggs, and honey ; or sometimes in 
lieu of these, small cakes made of flour, coffee, and eggs ; and the 
repast finished by a desert of grapes, raisins, and chesnuts. But for 
the presence of strangers, the family would have eat in common from 
the dishes successively brought to the table ; and even with separate 
plates before them, this was frequently done. The thin wine of the 
country was drunk during the repast ; but neither in eating or 
drinking is it common for the Greeks to indulge in excess. 

The dinner tray rempved, the basin and ewer were again carried 
round, — a practice which is seldom omitted even among the inferior 
classes in this country. Afler an interval of a few minutes, a glass of 
liquor and coffee was handed to us, and a Turkish pipe presented to 
»ny one who desired it. In summer a short ^ies/a is generally taken 
^t this hour, but now it was not considered necessary. After passing 


anlioar or two on the coQches of the apartment, some visitors gen^Hy 
arrived, and the family moved to the larger room before described. 
These visitors were Greeks of the city, some of them relations, oth^s 
friends of the family, who did not come on formal invitation, but in 
an unreserved way, to pass some part of the evening in conversation. 
This mode of society is common in loannina, and, but that the women 
take little part in it, might be considered extremely pleasant. When 
a visitor enters the apartment he salutes, and is saluted, by the right 
hand placed on the heart, a method of address at once simple and 
dignified. Seated on the couch, sweetmeats, coffee, and a pip^ 
are presented to him ; and these form in f^ct the only requisitions of 
the visitors from their hosts. The Greeks are scarcely less fond of 
smoking than the Turks : the chiboukij or long Turkish pipe, is 
indispensable as one of their daily luxuries ; and almost every indivi- 
dual carries about with him a small bag of tobacco, from which to 
draw its supplies. It must be noticed that the Turkish tobacco in 
general, and particularly that of Syria, is much less harsh than the 
American, probably less narcotic also ; and in this, as well as in the 
greater degance and comfort of the pipe, there are motives to the 
usage of smdcing which we do not in En^and equally possess. 

This evening society at the house of our host was a source both 
of pleasure and informaticHO to us. The lively and social temper of 
the Greeks, and thdr eagerness for intercourse with European 
travellers, brought a great number to see us, and we formed acquaint* 
ance here with many of the principal merchants, and most of the 
literary characters of the city. At the head of the latter class was 
Athanasius Psalida, the master of the academy of loannina. The 
writings and repute of this Greek have before been mentioned, and 
he does not allow his talents to be hidden from those around him. 
In Latin, Greek, French, Italian, German, or Russ, he is continually 
pouring out a flood of conversation on every topic that can come before 
him, but with an obvious predilection for such topics as have relation 
to the arts, the literature, and the glory of his own country, which 
he never fails to identify with the ancient Greece. His bias on this 


point is*openly9 and at once displayed. Scarcely had I been iirtf 
minutes with him before he began to complain of the ingratitude of 
European nations, in not repaying to the Greeks of this day the 
benefits they had derived from their ancestors. " What should we 
have been but for the arts, the instruction, the example of the 
Grecian worthies P The modern descendants of these men had the 
same capacity for becoming great, and opportunity and some slight 
aid alone were wanting to enable them to shew their qualities, and 
to take their place among nations. It might happen (and he spoke 
this with some sarcastic asperity) that they should one day come 
to reclaim what had been plundered from them of their ancient 
treasures.'' This topic of the ingratitude of civilized Europe towards 
their country is a favourite one with every Greek, and they dwell 
upon it even to tediousness with every stranger who will afford his 
ear to them. Notwithstanding their political degradation, there is a 
high tone of national vanity among the G reeks ; in part that of 
ancestry, partly derived from a sense of their own active talent and 
intellectual superiority to the Turks who surround them. In convefr 
sation they are incUned to be sententious and argumentative. They 
have a number of proverbs in their language, many of them pointed 
and well conceived, and these they are much in the habit of * using. 
The ambition of shewing themselves enlightened and free from 
prejudice is very common ; and to this cause in part, but still more 
to the superstitious observances with which their national religion 
abounds, may be attributed the frequent scepticism that prevails 
among the literary class of the modem Greeks. Psalida has con- 
siderable information in modern science, which he has acquired \tx 
Germany and elsewhere ; but his mind seems more engaged by those 
studies which savour a little of the ancient philosophy of the schools. 
He has a laudable zeal for the progress of modem Greek literature, and 
much enthusiasm for the poetry of this language. I have heard him 

* 1 have in my poBsessioii a liftt of more than 140 of these proverbs. 



recile and expound for an hour together the Lyric verses of Athana^ 
eius Christopulo, which, in common with many other Greeks, he 
considers as the finest of their modern poetry, and little inferior in 
merit to that of Anacreon himself.* 

• Another of our visitors at the house of Metzou, was the physician 
George Sakallarius, one of the medical attendants on the Vizier, 
This Greek, now about fifky years of age, was educated at the medical 
school of Vienna, and for a long period has practised his profession 
at loannina. He, as well as PsaJida, enjoys considerable reputation 
among his countrymen, and has deserved it by his zeal for their 
literature and improvement. He is the author of several works, 
original as well as translated. His " Greek Archaeology^' was pub- 
lished aj Vienna in 1795, and two years afterwards a trapslation of the 
first volume of the Travels of Anacharsis, a work he has not yet com- 
pleted. At the same place be published two Romaic meio-dramas, 
entitled, " Orpheus and Eurydice,'' and " Ulysses and Calypso.'^ 
He was at this time engaged in translating Cousin d'Espreux's History 
of Greece, a work in sixteen volumes, of whidh he had already com- 
pleted ten-f*. Sakallarius is, I believe, the only one among his 
countrymen who has interested himself in the collection of Grecian 
coins ; and his own assiduity^ aided by the facilities of a residence on 
the spot, have enabled him to form a cabinet of no mean value. This 
cabinet I examined, when a second time at loannina, and found it 
particularly rich in the rare coins of Epirus, Acarnania, and the 

* Ihave an edition of theLjrricsof Christopulo ('Ej»nxa xou Bax;^ixa) printedin iSii^ 
There is certainly much merit in tbe^ poetry of this little volume ; an ease^ vivacity, and 
lightness of humour which may allow the Gredcs to boast with reason of their modem 
Anacreontics. I have seen a Romaic grammar, entitled) Tgafx^fiMnxr^ AioAxo-Ao juxij, by the 
same author ; so entitled from an opinion he holds, that the Romaic is a derivative from 
these two dialects. Cbristopulo is now resident at Constantinople. 

f This will be the second important translation of Grecian history which has been given 
to the Gredcs by their countrymen of loannina. A translation of RoUin's Ancienf History, 
in seventeen volumes, was published at Venice in 1 750, by Alexander ^ankellar^u, a native 
of this city. 

y 9 


ditferent cities and isles on this coast of Greece. When at Vienna*, 
Sakallarius had studied medicine under Franck ; and together with 
much veneration for his master, I found a strong bias, both in opinion 
and practice, towards the doctrines of that eminent physician. 

Another medical man, who very often visited us, was Signore 
Metaxa, aCephalonioteby birth, who had studied some time at Paris, 
and a year or two before our arrival at loannina, had been appointed 
one of the physicians of the Vizier. His education had givra him 
very different opinions from those of his 9olleague, but his medical 
knowledge was extremely accurate, and from his residence in France 
he had derived much knowledge both of the literature and science of 
modern Europe. 

The third physician of the Vizier was at this time absent, in 
attendance upon Veli Pasha at Larissa. These three medical attend^ 
ants have each €000 piastres, or somewhat more than 3001. per annum, 
with the privilege of practising to any extent in the city, whidi 
probably may nearly double their income. Considering the mode of 
life among the Greeks, these professional gains are sufficient both for 
respectability and comfort There are several other medical men in 
loannina, of whom those in most repute are Koletti and Chiprasli, 
both natives of the country. The former, who is* a physician to 
Mouctar Pasha, I did not see until my second visit to loannina. 
He is the author of a pretty little chemicaJ treatise in the Romaic 
language, chiefly occupied in an ingenious discussion of the modern 
doctrines of heat^, and has prepared also for publication, translations 
of Johnson's Rasselas, of the Geometry of Legendre, and the 
Arithmetic of Biot. 

The medical character is held in much repute throughout Greece ; 
and 83* the Greek physicians have generally travelled and studied 
at foreign universities, there is some cause for this comparative reput- 
ation. I have generally found them acute and well-informed men ; 


* This txeatifle is entided, *1Ua yivixi} «v}i r$fm t8ionrr«v tcoy ^tfutrcofikcu trf^i t^f ^vq-ffwfy 
Kou rm itioniTaiy ri 0tffMtyriXtf. Leghorn* i9o6* 


zealoos u) their profession ; and, the depatrtment of surgery excepted, 
probably not inferior to any of their brethem in the south of Europe* 
Their education in' Germany and Italy, particularly in the latter of 
these countries, has had the effect of infusing into many of them the 
Brunonian doctrine, in some one or other of its modifications, and 
there is scarcely a physician in Greece with whom the names of 
Brown and Darwin are not familiar ; or who wilt not make it an 
early object of inquiry, what reputation the men and doctrines have 
acquired in their own . country. During my two residences in 
Albania, I* had occasion to attend several patients, both Greeks and 
Turks, together with the physicians of loannina ; and I recollect one 
instance, where I met four of them in consultation upon the case of 
an interesting young man, named Tassula, a native of one of the 
Macedonian cantons, and secretary to the Vizier. There was always 
a perfect courtesy in these consultations, and a careful consideration 
of the symptoms, with more tendency however to system and theory 
than are usual in modem English practice. 

Even the dejected political state of the Greeks has not precluded 
the use of certain titles, applied as distinctions to particular classes of 
society. Those who have the situation of Archons, or other magis- 
terial office, are generally spoken of and addressed with the epithet of 
Etigenestatos or Entimciatos ; a merchant with that of Timiotatos ; a 
physician as Exochotatos ; and a schoolmaster with the long prefixture 
of Sophphgistatos* Even the ordinary singer in the churches has his 
title of MusikologiotatoSy which is .given with all due forms of usage. 
However the question of such distinctions may stand elsewhere, one is 
here almost tempted to apply the sa3ring of Longinus ; Tm m$vS fitm 
uhv iifa^x^$ fiByctj Sro xareup^iTv fr< [liyu. In common life, nothing is 
^reat which it is great to despise. 

The evening parties at the house of our host made us acquainted 
with several of the principal merchants of loannina ; and the medical 
practice I had, both now wad on my return to the city, greatly extended 
this intimacy. We found than for the most part wel^ii)fonned men,' 


shrewd in their remarks, and shewing a degree of civility which could 
not fail to be gratifying to us. 

There is something highly satisfiau^tory indeed to national feel- 
ing in the reception an Englishman finds, as well here as in 
other parts of Greece. It is true that the present politics of Ali 
Pasha have contributed in Albania to this effect ; but this influence 
is only a partial cause ; and the more principal reasons are to 
be found in the number of English travellers who frequent the 
country ; in the character of their pursuits, and in the enthusiam 
they testify for the memorials of ancient Greece, a point that is 
more or less interesting to the feehngs of every modern Greek. 
Somethings too, of this national respect for the English may be 
attributed to political causes; to the knowledge they all have of 
the relation of England to the rest of Europe; and especially of 
our growing influence in the Mediterranean, an influence which 
one party in Greece hope may some time be directed to their own 
liberation. Another and more ordinary cause is the disposition of 
an Englishman to spend or give his money, which of course never 
fails in procuring advocates or friends. In this country, as well as in 
Spain and Sicily, I have oflen been assiduously questioned as to the 
sources of our wealth, which the enquirers themselves are usually 
disposed to consider as coming altogether from our Oriental pos- 
sessions. The Greeks, however, are less liable to this mistake than 
others ; their own merchants, particularly in some of the islands, 
having well ascertained the influence of an active commerce in pro- 
moting wealth. Many also of the loannina merchants have acquired 
large property ; and in their habitations, as well as mode of living, 
there is a display of this on a very considerable scale. The houses 
of Stavro, of Demetrius Athanasius, and several others, are of great 
extent, and furnished in a style of much luxury. It may be remarked, 
however, in general, that the current expences of a Greek family are 
not large, and their long and repeated fasts, as well as the compara^ 
|4ye*3iipplicity of their diet, would reduce these expences below the 


ievel common to most nations, even without reference to the ordinary 
prices of the country. It will be seen, too, that their forms of society 
are. attended with little expenditure, and their public amusements 
rare, and of the most limited kind. 

Among the Greek merchants whom we knew at loannina, one of the 
most agreeable was loannes Mela, whose name has been more than once 
mentioned in the foregoing narrative. We found in this young man 
great intelligence and propriety of Judgment; and more accurate views, 
I think, regarding the present state and future prospects of Greece, 
than I met with elsewhere. The education he had received in travel- 
ling, he continued to himself by his own exertions at home. Residing 
in a large family mansion, with an aged mother, he had built in his 
gardens a small library, neatly furnished, provided with a piano*forte, 
and a good collection of books^ as well Romaic as German and 
French. Among those of the first class, I observed a modern Greek 
translation of Laplace's Systeme du MondCj a book I do not recollect 
to have seen in any other place. 

Two or three Greek priests entered occasionally into the society at 
our host's, but they bore an inferior part in it. This class of men labours 
under disadvantages throughout every part of Greece, which do not 
equally belong to medicine *or to trade. The general smallness of 
their stipends brings most of them from an inferior class of society ; 
their means of education are limited both by habit and necessity .; 
and they but seldom enjoy the opportunities of travelling obtained by 
other Greeks. There are many exceptions to the statement, yet it 
may be said generally that a smaller proportion of the literature of 
the country has come from the Greek clergy, than from other classes 
of the community.* 

Cards are sometimes introduced into our evening parties, but I do 
not recollect ever to have seen a chess-board. The national and 
pleasing dance of the Romaika, appears to be less common in 

* The names of Evgenius, IGcephonis, Meledus, &c may be mentioned among other 
exceptions to this statement. 


Albania than in the Morea and other parts of Greece;, perhaps 
an effect of the more frequent use of the Albanitiko, or Albaxiian 
dance, in this part of the country. There is an extreme (lifference 
in the character of the two dances ; the latter, wild, uncouth, and 
abounding in strange gestures ; the Romaika, graceful, though some* 
times lively, and well fitted to display the beauty of attitude in the 
human form. Both are supposed to have been derived, with more 
or less of change, from the ancient times of Greece; and the 
claim of the Romaika in particular to a classical origin appears to 
have some reality. Its history has been connected mth the dance 
invented at Delos, when Theseus came hither from Crete, to com- 
memorate the adventure of Ariadne and the Cretan Labyrinth ; and 
the character of its movements has much correspondence with those 
described by Plutarch, in his life of Theseus. The Ariadne of the 
dance is selected either in rotation, or from some habitual deferaK^ 
to youtli and beauty. She holds in her left hand a white hand- 
kerchief, the clue to Theseus, who follows next in the dance ; having 
the other end of the handkerchief in his right hand, and giving his 
left to a second female. The alternation of the sexes, hand in hand, 
then goes on to any numben The chief action of the dance devolves 
upon the two leaders, the others merely following their movements, 
generally in a sort of circular outline, and with a step alternately 
advancing and receding to the measures of the music. The leading 
female, with an action of the arms and figure directed by het own 
choice, conducts her lover, as he may be supposed, in a winding 
and laby rinthic course, each of them constantly varying liieir move* 
ments, partly in obedience to the music, which is either slow and 
measured, or more lively and impetuous ; partly from the spirit of 
the moment, and the suggestion of their own taste. This rapid and 
frequent change of figure, together with the power of giving ex* 
pression and creating novelty, renders the Romaika a very pleasing 
dance; and perhaps among th^ best of those which have become 
national, since the plan of its movement allows scope both to the 
learned and unlearned in the art. In a ball-room at Ath«is, I 


Hawi seen i« performed with great effect. Still more I. have enjoyed 
its exhibitioQ in some Arcadian villages ; where in the spring of the 
year, and when the whole country was glowing with beauty, grouper 
of youthi of both sexes were assembled ^ amidst tlieir habitations, 
circlkig round in the ma^es of this dance; with 'flowing hair, an^ 
a dress pictwresque enough, even for the outline which fancy frames 
ofrArcadian scenery. It is impossible to Jook upon the Romaika; 
without the su^estion of antiquity ; as well in the repnssentatio'ii 
we have 'upon marbles and vases, as in the description of similar, 
movements by the poets of that age. 

tn exterior habits and dress, the Greeks of hi^er class * at 
loannina^ and in the southern', part of Albania, exhibit litde pecu^ 
lidrity from their countrymen elsewhere. In the case.of th?l men, 
rile head^ i^omwhic^h the hair is entirely removed in the front, is 
covered with' the calpac; a tall white felt cap, without brim^ and 
sotnetimes surmounted by a square tablet of cloth stuffed- with ♦ wbbL 
The rest of the dress resembles a good deal that of the Turks; 
small yellow leather boots are generally wom^ and there is a pretty 
general license as to the colours of the dressy . except in the instance 
rf green, which is presumed to be worn only by the Turkish JB^aV^, 
or those w'ho claim a place in the descent from the Prophet. 

The female dress among the! Greeks is characterized by a lux- 
uriance of ornament, which I' think I have obsen^ed in greater degree 
at loannina than^ elsewhere. A Greek lady puts nature entirely 
under the controiil of art^ and though in the hair, the veil, arid 
the zone, there are many' "resemblances to antient costume^ yet 
the comparative lightness of the antient drapery, as we have it 
in statues, &c- will not be • recognized in the more cumbrous and 
richly decorated robes of the modern females- The cultivation and 
ornament of the hair is a matter of the first moment; and whatever 
be thought of the artificial 'colour they give it, it must be acknow- 

. • - , • ■ , 

* With ih^ origin of tfie Greds, calpac I am unacquainted, but there is reason, I 
bdieve, to suppose they were worn in the later periods of the Greek empire. 



ledged tliat there is frequently much gracefuhiess in the long twisted 
ringlets^ or loose flowing fnasses in which it is disposed. This 
artificial tint is procured by the use of a vegetable powder, brought 
from Africa, and sold by retail in the shops of the country. The 
powder, which is of a greyish green colour, I belfeve to be obtained 
from the Lawsonia inermis. The stain it gives to the hair will 
scarcely admit of the epithet golden, but has a more strict resem- 
blance (however unclassical the comparison may be) to that of maho-^ 
gany wood ; varying in deepness of colour either from the more 
profuse employment of the powder, or from some difference in the 
original colouring matter of the hair. The practice of giving this 
tint is begun at an early age ; the youngest daughter of our host, 
scarcely ten years old, had already long stained ringlets, which hung 
ftir down over her neck and shoulders. When married, however, 
the women dismiss this colour, and take in lieu of it, a deep blacky 
a tint unquestionably more pleasing,' though less gaudy. Numerous 
other ornaments are added to the head dress; pearls, gold-wir^ 
gold and silver coins, &c. The girls even of higher rank frequently 
wear a small circular piece of red cloth on the crown of the head, 
to which are attached successive rows of sudi coins, with pearls and 
other decorations ; and this practice of carrying the current money 
of the comitry as an ornament to the person, is still more frequent 
among the lower classes both of Gree^ and Albanian females. 

The ftdl dress of a Grecian lady requires yet further violations 
of nature. As in the ancient time» of Greece, they use a variety 
of paints for their complexions ; they colour and thicken the eye- 
brows, frequently also joining the two together ; they blacken the 
eye-lashes ; and give a pink stain to the nails. All these decorations 
are employed more profusely, and with greater infringement upon 
good taste, in the instance of the marriage ceremony, and other 
religious festivals. A Greek bride is ornamented with a sort of 
luxurious artifice, which even fatigues the eye by its complication 
^d incongruity. Her attendants partake in some degree of the 

same gaudy attire, and I have seen a young girl just come from a 

, • • •• ' 



bridal feast) with the appendage of a round spot of gold leaf uudernekth 
each eye, the chedcs at the same time celoured to excess. It would 
be tedious, nor should I be able, to enter into all the details of the 
cosmetic arts, which the Grecian women employ. The other parts 
of their, dress may more easily be described ; — an open and flowing 
gown .with full sleeves, frequently made of silk and richly em*^ 
braidered; aQ inner veft also richly worked; their muslin drawers. 
cov6i«l'by the gown; coloured stockings and shoes ; in cold weather 
a satin iurred pelisse; a long and rich veil, which is disposed by 
the Greek wopien with a singular ^acefulness ; and the zone, resting^ 
upon the hips, with an obliquity corresponding in some degree to the 
natural fprm ; and held down in front by two massive silver bosses, 
which connect its two - extremities* This zone is distinct iftom the 
waist, which is formed by the* folds of the dress below the bosomi^ 
and mi^t be unpleasaat to the eye in giving the effect of a secoiid' 
waist, wiETo not the fancy > called in by the image of the ancient 
Cestus, to whidi in various respects it has a strong resemblance, ^^ . : 

Comparing the Greeks generally with other people in the.south of 
£urope, they have, I think, a. manifest superiority both in counte- 
nance and form. Making every allowance for dress, there, is a 
breadth and a manliness of figure, . which may be. considered^. 
I beUevC) as national ; and an outline of countenance which is- 
equally national, and which i^ongly brings to mind the models 
afibrded by the sculptures of ancient Greece. The iiacial angle is 
larger than in most other conmiunities ; the features are usually 
broad, open, and animated. The Turkish physiognomy, though 
itself handsome, is widely different from the Greek; and it is sin- 
gular to the traveller, to see on one soil an intermixture of two 
people, so striking, and at the same time so distinct in their respec- 
tive characters, physical and moral. 

.. * The r^ktuMd of the iiiodem QreA female dress to that of andentioosdiine^ w3l 
be obvious in several partioulanu The kmg catalogue of diress^s we have in the 
^idicos of Plautus, (Act iL seen* 2.) will afibrd some resemblances^ and probably 
might ^ve others, did we better understand the exact meaning of all his terois. 

z 2 



\.The language spoken by the Greeks of loannina is considered as 
one of the best forms of the Romaic, and it perhaps in some degree) 
m^its this distinction. I do not here toteif into any details regard*- 
ing this language, the enquiry as to the progress of its changes frant 
the ancient Gredc, and as to its present state in grammar, construction, 
and pronunciation having already been pursued by several writers, 
and the result of their labours made known to the public *. I may. 
remark generally, without reference to the particular dialects of 
Athens, Ccmstantinople, Zakonia, &c. that the relation of the Romaic 
to the Hellenic (as the ancient Greek is still called in this country) is:, 
much the same, in respect to degree of change, as>tfaat of Italian to 
Latin; that the principal presumed, or certain difierences are, ^ — in the 
sound of particular consonants and diphthongs ; in the adoption of the 
{pronunciation by accent ; in the loss o£ the dual number and middle 
voice ; in the absence of the dative case, which is usually supplied 
by the accusative with a preposition ; in the large use of the auxi- 
liary verbs QiXm and Ix^i ; and in the formation of the infinitive by the 
particle y«, prefixed to the persons of the present tense, and the fit^t. 
aorist of the subjunctive* These grammatical changes seem, indeed 
important, and others might be: specified in the use of the pronouns^ 
adverbs, &c.; but still, when the change in pronunciation is sur* 
mounted, the stranger in Greece will find much facility in taking up 
the language firom the general identity in most of the radicals. Still 
more easily will he peruse the Romaic writing^, which, as is natural 
perhaps with such a people as the modern Greeks, have, deserted in 
some measure the spoken language, and sought to approximate them- 

* The moet recent and most complete ezpoatioii of the Romaic langoage will be fpuad 
io Major Leake's Researches in Greece. Mr. Hobhouse has given much valuable aod 
interesting information on the same subject The intereting topic of the progressive sub- 
stitvtion of accent for quantity, and diegradu al adoption of accent in Greek poetry, during 
the twdfih and succeeding centuries, is trea ed of at some lengthen th^se works,' and ^ 
fiutber discussion of it might now be r^atded as superfluous. 

sehes more (to the andeat Gveek standhtdw ' Tiib Ceiideiicj .appears 
to^ have GODSideiablj . incveQjsed 6f kte^^ years; aiid> many wiiten in 
prose of these times have asutduously eikdeavonred to form theirs style 
oa die modeL of« Thucydidesp and to increase the po^er of t^ 
language as to> cpmpound words. ' • 

It may certainly be made a matter of question, whethier this dis^ 
position to separate the written and spoken language is not ddubied 
too far, since it is doubtful whether the former can ever be ^ective 
in raising and fixing the standard of the latter. Yet this appears to 
have happened to a certain extent in several languages, the English 
and Italian among others ; and if there is a chance of it in the 
Romaic, we may applaud those modem Greek writers who are con- 
tributing to the effect. Korai of Chios, an author of merited emin- 
ence, is zealous in the cause, and has exerted himself in forwarding 
it by his writings*. The discussion produced by this has given rise 
to a singular comedy in three acts, called the Kofoxi^acd^ i SiOfOafipt t^c 
FufiMMii^ yXtaarcrfic^ written by Jacobus Rizi. The humour of this 
comedy, which I have by me in manuscript, turns in great part upon 
the affectation of these classical changes, and particularly on that of 
using long compound words.-f- 

* Korai has been spoken of in another place as the author of the Hellenic Library, 
residence at Paris has given him the opportunity of publishing other works, as wdl 
original as translated. Among the latter are the iEthiopics of Heliodorus, Beocaria on 
Crimes and Punishments, Hippocrates on Air, and the Characters of Theophrastus; the 
two last translated into French, with notes in the same language. About two years ago 
he published a grammadcal disquisition on the Romaic language which, I believe^ is 
valuable. Korai bore a considerable part in the edition of the French Strabo. 

f One of the characters in this comedy desires that he may have for his repast, 
^fXoSiofiSioaXaroXtfp^ayoxaXtixtfUfMnra;'' somewhat an exaggeration of humour, it must be 
allowed. Tlie some Rizi has written two tragedies, of which the kindness of Mn North 
has procured me manuscript copies. One is called Aspasia, and takes as its main incident 
the death of Pericles from the plague, an event certainly tragical enough. The other, 
which consists of five acts, has the story of Polyxene as its 



I may Ixiefij notice, that besides those aheady meDtioned, sevexal 
other Greeks of loannina have distiDgoished thansdves by their 
writings ; and that many works now exist here in mannscript, waiting 
only the opportunities of publication. Whatever be thought of the 
progress or actual state of the Greeks in other»reapects, it is certain 
that their literature has been improving of late years, an4 with it 
doubtless their love of liberty, and. the character of their social and 
domestic habits. 

I » ' 

• I 

( 175 ) 



• t 


WHILE enjoying in our residence at loannina, all 
of spectacle, soci^, and mode of life, my int^course with the 
Viaier became very frequent, by the medical relation to him in which I 
was placed. It will be remembered that in our first interview, he ex- 
pressed his desire of consulting me upon his complaints. A day Or. 
two afterwards he again sent for us to the Seraglio, and some general 
<x»iversation having taken place, he asked severs^ questions whidh 
evidently bad relation to this subject, and formed a sort of exercise 
of his judgement upon me. When leaving him, he stated his ihten-- 
tion of siding for me privately, that he might explam fully the 
nature of his complaints, and obtain my opinion upon them. This 
took place the following day. While dining with M. Pouqu6ville, 
one of the black slaves of the Seraglio brought me a note from 
Colovo, saying that die Vizier wished to see me. I immediately 
went to the Seraglio, and was conducted into a chamber, in a part 
of the building that was yet unknown to me ; the room less splendid 
than those in which I had before seen the Vizier, yet painted with 
much gaudiness, and all the ftimiture of the couches richly em^ 
brcddered. Here I found Ali Pasha sitting on a couch near the fire, 
the dragoman standing before him, and several armed attendants at 
the lower end of the apartment. The latter, on my arrival, were 
dismissed, and -the Vizier without delay entered on the subject for 
which he had d^jii«d nvf presence. He first explained through the 


interpreter, that he had been very anxious to consult an English 
physician upon his complaints, and that he was happy the occasion 
had occurred by my arrival at loannina. He added that I might 
consider myself as confidentially speaking with him through Colovo; 
who was one of his oldest servants, £fend knew much of the history of 
his past life. 

After this preamble, he entered upon a narrative of his complaints, 
which, though I could only distantljr follow it in his own language, 
yet was evidently marked by good precision and force in the manner 
of relation. He continued , speaking for abqut fifteen minutes, and 
afibrded me during this time a fine occasion of marking the features 
of his couAtenance and maimer. The narrative was translated fo toe 
with little alnidgement, and much seeming accuracy, by the 
dragoman Colovo. In its substance, I may remark generally, thiat 
there was a good deal of credulity and prejudice displayed on scnne 
points; on others inore soundness of judgement than is common to 
the Turks as: ai nation,. For various reasons, I do. not fed myself at 
liberty to ^ve the particulars of this, narrative, nor would they afibrd; 
any thing new to the medical reader^ It may suffice to say that 
at this tikne he was. suffering under no. acute disorder; *that his 
sylliptoms . .werp ehiefly of a chronic^ nature, depending partly upoa 
his ^age, partly upon circumstances in his forma* life, with other 
symptoms that I ^learnt more from my own observation than.hi^ 
report, which required the use of preventive means,, to obviate 
ev^itual danger..' . > . 

After Colovo had translated his narrative, I proposed the various 
questions which it suggested to me, and examined into the case' 
as accurately as was possible through an interpreter, not himself a 
n^ical man. The whole consultation lasted nearly two hours. 
Though prepared on most points to give immediate advice, yet I^ 
thought it well to ask a day for the consideration of the case ; and 
promised at the' expiration of* this time, to give my opinion in 
writing, a method which I conceived more likely to procure a steady ' 
compliance with the means I should recommend. The Vi^e/ 



seemed pleased with the idea, and expressed his wish to see me 
again soon, that he might state any thing additional that oocurred 
to him. 

I was at the Seraglio accordin^y the next day, with Signore 
Metaxa, through whcnn, as being himself a phjrsician, I had more 
£i€ihty in conversing with the Vizier. He now related to me other 
Gircumstances about his health ; some of them imaginary, otl^rs of 
a trifling nature. He had some fears of dropsy of the abdomen, 
and told me, if I xecoUect well, that his &ther Or some one* of his 
family had died of that complaint. I wad enabled by examination, 
tA assure him that there were no grounds for this alarm. Eranji 
Metaxa, whose observations were those of an intdlig^nt phjrsician, 
I learnt various pardculaTs, which I could less easily obtain firom 
the Vizier, and which materially assisted : me in my view of the 
case. I drew up, without further delqy, a written opinion upOn ' it, 
with my advice as to the means, which were now, or mi^t pro* 
spectively become, desirable to be pursued. This papar, whidb was 
wntteh in Italian, I presented to the Vizier at my next interview 
with him. He desired it to foe immediately read in Romaic ; which 
was done by Colovo, with a translation as exact as might be made 
at the moment. He then ordered that it should be written out 
verbatim in Romaic ; and when I visited the Serliglio the following 
day, it was again read to Um in this language. He listened with 
great attention, and asked several questions arising out of the 
opinions I had given. This fimshed, he was proAise in his expres- 
sions of acknowledgment ; promised a compliance with the means 
I had advised, and stated his design of adopting some of them the 
same day^ 

Succeeding to this intev^view I had two or three others, which 
were partly medical, partly occupied in general topics of conver- 
sation. In the first of those which occurred afler I 'had presented 
my opinion^ he solicited me with much earnestness to remain at 
loannina as his physician, and spoke of his willingness to assent to 
any terms that I might require for this service. Oh my declining 

A A 


this proposal in a decided manner, be expressed his desire that I 
should at least remain with him one year ; a plan which on various 
accounts I also thought it desirable to decline ; alleging in excuse 
those only of my reasons which related to my fliture plana in 
England, and keeping silence upon others, which had reference to 
the nature of his own court and government. A further appUcation 
was soon afterwards made U> me on this subject through the 
secretary ; and I was informed that I might expect a large reward, 
if I would consent to remain a year at Ioannina« A second time 
the Vizier himself spoke to me upon the matter, pressing my com- 
pliance in strmig terms, and assuring me that every thing shoidd 
be done during this period to^ render ray residence agreeable. All 
this was expressed with a courteous and winning manner, which he 
has an eminent faculty in ^nploying, whenever he thinks it need- 
ful for the attainment of his object. As I continued steady in 
declining his proposal, he expressed some surprize, and said he 
auppos(ed I must have much money in England, that I cared so 
Httle about any offers he could make me^ His manner giving me 
the idea that he was hiut by my refusal, I quafified it by pro^ 
mising that I would return to loannina, if he desired it, after I had 
visited Athens and certain other parts of Greece. He caught hold 
of this proposal at once ; adding, that at present he was satisfied 
with obtaining this, and that he should depend upon my truth fan 
the fulfilment of the promise. 

It had been our design, after leaving^ loannina, to return to Santa- 
Maura, and thence to take ihe earliest conveyance to the Morea ; 
ajid on this account we had left at . Santa^Maura several packages^ 
which might have encumbered our journey. This plan, however, 
was entirely changed, in consequence of a furrier lequest from the 
Vizier, that I would visit ]m son Veli Pasha, who thea resided at 
Larissa in Thessaly, and was suffering undev a complaint which had 
hitherto resisted, as he told me, all attempts at cure. He pressed 
this; new plan with much earnestness, offering immediately to send a. 
<^iurier to SantapMaura, for the things we had left there^ and taking 



Upon himsdf to provide for our conveyance, not only to 
but, by any route we might af^rwards choose, to Athens. My 
friend having given his concmrence, and both being influenced by 
the desire of visiting Thessaly, I consented to the proposal of the 
Vizier, who appeared much satisfied, and desired particularly that 
r would draw up my opinion of Veli'^s case in writing, as I had 
done of his own. It was now fixed that we should leave loannina 
for Larissa, as soon as our luggage arrived. 

I give these details regarding my medical connection widt Ali 
Pasha, both to account for after-circumstances in my journey, and 
as illustrating in part the character and habits of the man. In those 
interviews, however^ which wa-e very frequent during the last week 
of^ our stay at loannina, die convaisation was not confined to 
medical matters alOne, but weat into <)ther topics of a more femiliar 
kind. Situated as I now was with him, I could feel perfectly at 
ease in thjs intercourse, which every circumstance contributed to 
render highly interesting. He usually 43ent for me to the Seraglio in 
the afternoon or evening ; sometimes alone, or occasionally with my 
fiieod, when he had nothing to say about his complaints. At what- 
ever dme it was, the approaches^to the Seraglio were always crowded 
with the singular groupes Already described. The Vizier was rarely 
to be found in the same room on two successive days ; and during 
my present stay at loannina, I was with him in eight difierent 
aportmaits. His dress was not greatly varied ; and only on one 
OQcarion I saw him with a turban instead of the blue cap, which he 
wore at the time of our first interview. His attitude also was very 
vniform, according to the Turkish habit I seldom saw ^m rise 
from his couch, though once he did so, while explaining to me the 
decline of his bodily powers, stridhig firmly at the same time across 
the chamber, as if to show that still much of energy was left. His 
manner of reception was always polite and dignified. There was^ 
evidently more form intended, when many persons were present, and 
bis manner became more easy and familiar, when we were alone. Wp 
.^1 way9 bad seats on the divans n^ar him ; the privilege of sitting befojr;^ 

A Jk 3 


Turks of thi$ rank being, limited almost exclusively to strangei^. 
£ven JMouctar Pasha does not sit in his father's presence, tmless 
directly desired to do a6, and I have seen him stand a qulirter of 
an hour among the officers of the Vizier, without venturing to take a 
place on the div^. . • * 

At one of my interviews with Ali Pasha, two of his grandsons were 
present fbr a short time ; the eldest son of Mouctar Pasha, a youth 
of fifteen or sixteen ; and the second son of VeU, apparaitly ten years 
of age. The Vizier caxessed and spoke to them with much kindness 
as they stood .before him. They were both ridily dressed in the 
Albaniain co^iime ; and the son of Veli in particular shewed a fine 
and spirited countenance. I saw this boy approaching the Seraglio 
on horsieback, his horse surrounded by Albanian soldiers on foot^ 
He was lifted off by one of them ; and made his way through the 
crowd of rugged soldiers. with an air of loflmess on his little featiHW^ 
whibh' shewed that, young as he was, he bad not unavailingly studied 
ia the sehdol of d»potic power. Unhappily &}t Turkey, this is the 
only Stthool in which her rulerb are instructed. 

Hie tii^ostfreqiiept topics introduced by the Viisier in conversation, 
were those relating to general politics; and in thesse it was evident 
that he was moi^ interested than in any olher. The conversatioh was 
usuaUy carried on by question and reply ; and his inquiries, though 
offcen shewing the characteristic ignorance of the Turks in matters of 
common knowledge, yet often also werepertin^it and well conceived, 
and made up by acuteness what they wanted of instruction. Some 
of these questions, which I noted down, may serve as specimens of 
their usual style. We were talking about England. He inquired 
the populiLtion of the country ; and whether I thought it as populous 
as those parts of Albania I had sten. The answer to this question 
led him to describe briefly the northern parts of Albania, as being 
much better inhabited than those to the south of 'loannina. He dien 
pursued the former subject; asked what was the size and peculation 
of London ; and expressed surprise when informed of its magnitude. 
He inquired the number of our ships of war ; the comparison of their 


size with the frigates he had seen on his coast ; and where they wete 
all employed. . The latter question led me to m^ition the American 
war ; 9nd I stated to him the singular fact that a people in America^ 
speaking the French language, were fitting for England, against, 
another people desceaided from the English, and speaking our own. 
language* It was unfortunate that I put the matter in this para- 
doxical light : for as was natural, I had ,much difficulty in making^ 
him comprehend tiie matter. 

The conversatioii, hawever, proceeded upon America; a isubject 
on which he had before spokcB to me, and seemed much interested^ 
He mow, as oa several otibHsr occasions, expressed his regret that he 
had never had the opportunity of travelling ; and his intention that 
this benefit^ whidi had been wanting to him^ should be given to Sali 
Bey, his youngest son. He inquired the distance of America front 
England ai^d France ; its eoitent; and. to whom it bdbnged.. He 
a^ed respecting its. peculation and the longevity of its inhabitantSy 
and dwelt espedoiUy on the fatter jioint, to which I observe him 
always; to attach a peculiar interest. He remarked that he: had heard 
that the Indians and Chinese live to a great age, and asked whether 
I knew this to be tlie! case, or was acquaint^ with any partkdlar 
n»eans they used for the purpose* Seeing him inclined to follow this 
topic, I statqd the . remarkable instances of loi^vity in our own 
countrymen. Pair and Jenkins ; at which he expressed svarprize, and 
much desire to know if there were any means in nature by which this' 
end mi^t-be obtained. It was evident that in this question he had 
. reference to himself; and I took the opportunity of epiforcing upon 
him some of the medical advice I had 1>efore given. He gave assent 
to what I said; but at the same time pursued the question, ^whether 
there w^re not some, moce directimeans of procuring long life.' 'I* 
mentioned to him genemlly the attempts that had been made some 
centuries ago, to discover the Elixir Vitas ; and stated that this waEs 
a project which had now been al]^doned by all mea of reflection. 
Alluding accidentally, at the same time, to the search after the phUo* 
aopher's stcAe» he eagerly folk)wed this subject, and wished tokoow 


whether there were not some secret methods of discovering gold, 
which gave their possessor the power of procuring any amount of 
this metal. There was a strong and significant interest in his manner 
of asking this question, which greatly struck me ; and it was accom* 
panied by a look toward myself, seeming to search into the truth of 
my reply. I answ.ered, of course, that there were no means of making 
gold and silver ; that these metals were obtained only from the earth ; 
and that the advantage of philosophy was in being able to employ 
the best means of raising them from mines, and purifying them for 
use. I doubt whether he was satisfied with this reply, or did not still 
believe in frirther mysteries of the alchemic art. The desire of gold 
and longevity are natural to a despot ; and especially to one who, 
like Ali Pasha, has been ever pursuing a scheme of ambitious pro- 

This was the usual style of conversation with the Vizier, and the 
common character of the questions he proposed. At an interview^ 
succeeding to that, of which I have given a sketdi, he shewed me 
several mineral specimens, with a view to inquire what metals they 
contained. Some of these were merely iron-«tones; one or two, which 
had the appearance of being from veins, contained crystals of copper 
pyrites ; another those of galena. He seemed disappointed in being 
told that none of those were the ores of the precious metals ; yet 
would not^ or could not, give me the names of the places whence they 

He possesses a small number of philosophical instruments, obtained 
from different parts of Europe ; and shews> an interest in their con- 
struction and uses. Some of the telescopes he has received from 
England are very good ; and he ha^ one of Dolland's microscopes, 
which however he had hitherto been unable to arrange for observation. 
This I did fipv him one morning when at the SeragUo, and shewed him 
its application in difierent instances. At another time he produced fot 
my examination two air-guns of English manufacture ; one of which 
had been rendered useless, as I found, by the valve being out of order. 
After I had pharg^ the air-condenser of the other, he took it from 


my hand, loaded it ivith bullets, and discharged it upwards, withoift 
any regard to the splendid decorations of the ceiling. As there were 
many persons present, I confess I thought it well that no other 
direction had been given. His fondness for arms of every kind, and 
especially if they be of curious structure, is very remarkable. Fusils, 
pistols, and sabres of singular and beautifuL workmanship, are to be 
found iiL every part of the Seraglio ; and frequently, when sitting 
with him, I have seen large collections of such arms brought for his 
inspection. A story has been told me of his sometimes trying a 
sabre by taking off himself the head of a person whom he had con- 
demned to die ; but I have no assurance that this statement is. true. 
I described to him the new patent gun, which receives at once its 
priming for twenty or thirty discharges. He expressed much desire 
to obtain it, and his wish was gratified a few months afterwards by 
receiving one from General Airey, when that officer visited loannina. 
I found on inquiry, that be had seen some electrical experiments ; 
Psalida having an electrical machine^ which served for this exhi- 
bition. His interest in such subjects is of course of a transient 
nature, and obviously depending in part on the supposed connection 
they may have with the means of forwarding his power. 
' It has been said that Ali Pasha is unable either to read or write; 
I can testify from my own observation that he can read ; and I believe 
both in the Romaic and Turkish languages. Though I do not recol-^ 
lect to have seen him write, yet I cannot doubt his ability in this alsQ^ 
fix>m the information I have received. 

A comparative freedom from Turkish prejudices was one of the 
most obvious and striking circumstances in. the conversation of this 
man; an exemption doubtless owing to his birth and the circum* 
stances of his early Ufe, ^ well as to his sound understanding and 
judgment. I have seldom known a Turk allow superiority to £uro- 
peans, even in points where the national deficiency on his own side 
was most notorious. This temper I neirer observed in Ali Pasha ; 
but, on the other hand, a sense and concessicm of inferiority, with a 
constant seeking after information, which might enable him to remedy 


the deficiencies under which he laboured *. It must be owned that 
his inquiries had little reference to the principles of govemmait, 
education, or other moral institutions ; and were often directed to the 
mere outline of national power, or to the art and inventions of war. 
But there were many questions also which had relation to the internal 
improvement of his territory ; to the construction of roads and bridges ; 
the discovery of mines ; the improvement of agriculture ; and other 
points which, in a country like Albania, are of no mean importance 
to the future interests of the people. 

Our conversation had often a reference to the politics of the day, 
on which I found him well and accuratdy informed/ It was at this 
time that Bonaparte was pursuing his memorable campaign in 
Russia ; in all the events of which Ali Pasha felt a lively int^est, 
. naturally arising out of his relation to the two great powers con- 
cerned. It was obviously for his advantage, that they should 
mutually wear out their strength, without either of them obtaining 
the preponderance. While at peace, they checked each other as to 
Turkey ; when at war, if either were eminently successftd, there was 
eventual danger to him. The vicinity of the French in the lUyrian 
provinces would speedily give effect to any designs they might adopt 
in that quarter, either ft^om views of general ambition, or from 
motives of personal hostility to himself, which he might be well 
aware that he had created by his conduct at Prevesa, his recent con* 
section with the English, and by other circumstances of less notoriety. 
Of the power of Russia, and the ultimate danger to the Turkish 
empire from this source, he was weU informed ; and he, as well as his 
sons, had felt and known the weight of the Russian armies pressing 
uDon the Danube. He understood. too« that all foreign attempts at 

* I have known him with great attention submit to receive advice about the improve<- 
Inent of the approaches to his Seraglio. On further consideration, I believe this advice 
was not judidously given. These approaches mig^ be greatly beautified ; but at the 
expeace of his character as an Albanian ruler. His true greatness, as well as safety, a^ 
in the rude magnificence of the Albaniftli soldiery which surrounds, or even fills, the outer 
part of his palace. 


the restoration of Greece, whether with selfish or honourable motives,, 
must of necessity imply a previous attack upon his pow^ ; and I 
believe he was fully sensible of his incapacity of r^isting per*- 
manently the efforts of a regular European army. At various times 
I have heard him converse, more or less directly, on these topics ; and 
in general there was an air of soxmd judgment in his remailcs, which 
implied as well sagacity, as freedom from the prejudices of his nation. 
I happened to be with him at the Seraglio on the evening of the 
day when he received information of the French having entered 
Moscow. He was evidently in low spirits, and discomposed by the 
intelligence. I spoke to him of the perseverance and resources of 
Russia, and of the evils that might arise to the French army from the 
burning of Moscow and the approach of winter. He was not satis- 
fied by these arguments, but alluded in reply to the pacific temper of 
Alexander, to the mistakes which had been committed in the last Polish 
campaign^ to the treaty of Tilsit, and above all to the character of 
Bonaparte, which he justly characterised as ^^ as one that the worl4 
had never before seen.'^ He spoke also of the errors the governments 
of Europe had committed in not uniting their strength, instead of 
coming singly to the contest ; and in reference to this, told the story 
of the father who, on his death-bed, counselled his sons to union, by 
shewing them that their united strength could break a staff, which 
withstood the single strength of each. He was animated and impres- 
sive on this subject ; and spoke with little disgqise of the probable 
designs of Napoleon, alluding to Turkey as one of the first objects of 
his future career. A story has been told of Bonaparte having offered 
to make Ali Pasha king of Greece, if he would engage to second the 
designs of France in this .quarter. I cannot say what truth there 
may be in this, but for various reasons I think it not impossible that 
s/ome such offer may have been made. Considering the changes iii 
the state of Europe, it is useless now to speculate upon the causes 
which led him to slight the French overtures, and to maintain his con- 
nection with England during the critical period of the last few years, 
'^e most obvions reasojQS were, bis knowledge that we did not act 

B B 




Upon a principle of conquest ; the security of his trade ; and perha[» 
the eyentual security of his person and treasures, should there be any 
successful invasion of the country. More than once he has aked me 
what would be his reception in England, if circumstances ever led 
him thither : and though this was said with a jocose air, yet it might 
have reference to the possible contingency of his being obUged to 
quit Albania. This passed, however, in a moment of some alarm ; 
and the progress of events soon after turned the tide into a new 

Once or twice I happened to be present wh^i Ali Pasha was 
listening to different petitioners, who successively came before him* 
This was an interesting spectacle ; each petitioner, as he approached, 
knelt, kissed his garment, and then proffered the matter of his request 
or complaint. The manner of Ali Pasha on these occasions was rapid 
and decisive. It was evident that he speedily formed a judgment, and 
was not easily, turned aside from it. . He spoke frequently and rapidly 
himself, but obviously with a close attention to the subject, and a desire 
of obtaining truth. This promptitude iis absolutely necessary, con- 
sidering the multitude of affairs that come before him. He may be 
considered ahxMst as the sole judge of his dominions ; and though 
the absaice of written law and precedent reduces all cases to the 
simple ^consideration of equity, yet it cannot be wondered that 
business should be retarded by its being committed so entirely to 
the labour and judgment of one man. It frequently happens that 
petitioners are detained several weeks in loannina, without being able 
to procure an audience, each day presenting themselves in the outer 
apartments of the Seraglio, and each day compelled to retire unsa- 
tisfied. I have several times been applied to, especially during my 
last residence at loannina, to interest the Vizier on behalf of different 
individuals ; but my unwillingness to appear taking any part in such 
affairs, and the certainty that if I assisted one, it must be at the 
expence of another, obhged me to decline any interference in these 

This disposition to manage personally all his affairs^ is a striking 


feature in the character of Ali Pasha, and influences all the concerns 
of his government. From it is derived that unity of system which 
extends through his dominions, which rend^s him individually an 
object of almost mysterious dread to his subjects, and makes his 
power formidable to his neighbours, and to the integrity of the 
Turkish empire. His ministers are such in the humblest sense of the 
word. In his rdation with the great powers of Europe, it does not 
appear that he depends on any counsel but his own ; and in the 
internal concerns of the country, it seems as if there were no will, 
impulse, or action; but from him. The physician Metaxa well illus- 
trated this by saying that there was a cord tied round every individual 
in his dominions, longer or shorter, more or less fine ; but every one 
of wffich cords went to him, and were held in his hand. He added^ 
what I knew fitxn my own observation to be true, that the rudest 
peasant of Albania, or the meanest page in his Seraglio, would bett^ 
obtain either favours or justice, by coming directly to Ali Pasha 
himself, than through any circuitous channel of ministers or favourites. 
It may further be noticed, that not an individual about him knows 
equally well as Ali, all the locaUties of his dominions, the habits, or 
even persons of his subjects, and the other circumstances which are 
important to the execution of justice. Bom in Albania, and having 
scarcely ever quitted this country, in which nevertheless he has been 
exercised by a thousand various fortunes, his knowledge on these 
subjects is minutely accurate. Almost every Albanian has been in 
his presence, dther as a soldier, or in some other capacity ; and there 
are few of mature age whose names or persons do not come within^ 
his recollection. I have had various opportunities of remarking this 
feet. One day I was present when he was giving a sort of open 
audience to all classes of petitioners. I noticed several cases in 
which his local knowledge evidently directed the decision, and 
probably was the means of arriving at the truth. Where his own 
interests or passions were unconcerned, it is probable that the judg- 
ments of Ali Pasha were generally impartial, and for the most part 
correct. It is doubtless an evil, that by undertaking every thing 

B B 2 


himself many things are neglected or delayed ; but it is likewise a good 
that he should thus extend his personal authority, since the subordinate 
ministers of a despotic system are generally tyrannical or corrupt. 

The assiduity with which he applies himself to all this business is 
very great. He rises commonly before six, and his officers and 
secretaries are expected to be with him at this hour. There are no 
pauses in business during the day, except at 12 o'clock, when he takes 
his dinner, sleeping afterwards for an hour ; and again at eight in 
the evening, which is his hour of supper. I have found him as late 
as nine o'clock, with three secretaries on the ground before him, 
listening to the most minute details of that branch of expenditure 
' which relates to the post-houses ; each article of which accounts he 
separately approved. His hours of pleasure are also in part subser* 
vient to the furtherance of business. I have seen him in the gardens 
of his pavilion surrounded by petitioners, and giving judgment on 
cases that were brought before him. Even when retiring to the 
Haram, he still preserves his public capacity ; and in the petty dis- 
cords of 300 women secluded from the world, it is not wonderful 
that his occupation and authority as a judge should still be required. 

In his habits at table Ali Pasha is temperate, though by no means so 
strict a Mussulman as to refuse himself wine. He almost always eats 
alono, according to the custom of Turks of high rank, and at the 
hours already mentioned. His dinner usually consists of twelve or 
sixteen covers, which are separately placed on a tray before him. 
The dishes are chiefly those of Turkish cookery ; in addition to 
which a whole lamb, provided by his shepherds, is served up at his 
table every day in the year. His appetite is not at all fastidious, and 
I have been told that his cooks, in providing for him, take liberties 
which, under a luxurious despot, would infallibly cost them their 

It is a singular circumstance in the habits of the man, that while 

exercising the most despotic tyranny, and exciting dread in all who 

surround him, he frequently descends to a sort of convivial inter- 

courjse with the Greeks as well as Turks of his capital, and accepts of 




inyitatibns to dinner, or evening entertainments, wheb these are 
proffered to him. Two or three such instances occurred during my 
latter stay at loannina, one of them at a Greek house, where I had 
the means of witnessing a part of the scene. It was an evening 
entertainment, at which seventy or eighty people were ass^nbled j 
the Vizier bringing those of his ministers and attendants, whom he 
desirecTto be with him ; and the master of the house inviting many of 
his own friends. The dinner or supper on these occasions is set out 
in the manner of the country ; its merit being estimated in part by 
the number of dishes presented. The Vizier eats and sits alone, the 
rest of the company standing at a distance ; but the master and 
mistress of the house are generally invited to take seats near him. ' 
Music and dancing are in most cases provided for his entertainment* 
The music is Turkish or Albanese, performed with tabors, guitars, 
and the tambourine, and often accompanied by the wild songs of the 
country: the dances also in general Albanese, and performed by 
youth of both sexes, dressed with all the richness that belongs to 
^the national costume. Wlien I last quitted loannina, my friend 
Mela was preparing to give such an entertainment to the Vizier, and 
had erected a new apartment in his gardens for this purpose. 

The Haram of Ali Pasha forms a distinct and very extensive part 
of his Seragho, closed in exteriorly by lofty stone-walls, so as to give 
the appearance of a fortress ; but within, having terraces and other 
open places for the convenience of its numerous inhabitants. Though 
my medical situation with the Vizier, especially during my last resi- 
dence at loannina, instructed me in many singular facts regarding 
the interior of the Haram, and though I had two female patients 
ftom within its walls, yet the rigid usage of Turkey prevented me 
from ever entering these penetralia damusj and I can speak of their 
appearance but from report*. The apartments are said to be fur- 

•*• ■ nil ■ II .11^ 

* Lucas Bia is the only one of the physicians of the Vizier allowed to enter the Haram, 
a privilege he derives firom his mother having suckled one of the sons of Ali Pasha, which, 
in the usage of this, and of many other countries, constitutes him in part one of the 


nished in a style of gorgeous luxury ; and having afterwards seen a 
vacant building with a similar destination, in the new Seraglio at 
Argyro Kastro, I can readily believe this statement. The number of 
females in the Haram is reported to exceed three hundred, but among 
these are included the various attendants, dancing girls, &c. who 
minister to the luxuries of the place. They are of various nations, 
Greeks, Turks, Albanians, Circassians, &c., and for the most part 
have been purchased according to the custom of the East. The 
occupations of a Turkish Haram have onen been described, and need 
little repetition. The bath, music, dancing, tales, embroidery, and 
dress give the chief employment to time : the exhibition of idiotcy, 
or of the frantic acts of women drugged with opium or wine, and the 
talk of others who come to the Haram with philtres, charms, and the 
various arts addressed to credulity, these are among the occasional 
amusements of the place*. When the Vizier moves his residence for 
a time, th^ females taken with him are conveyed in dose carriages, 
so as continue their confinement even during this interval. Habit 
and the want of education may somewhat alleviate this physical and 
moral captivity, but to vindicate it to general reason is impossible, 
though it has been attempted. 

The first wife of Ali Pasha, the daughter of Coul Pasha, and mother 
of Mouctar and Veli, has long been dead. His only wife at present is 
the mother of Sali Bey, his third and youngest son, born after an 
interval of more than twenty years without children. This lady, 
who is said to have been originally a slave, resides at present with 
much state in the Seraglio at Tepeleni. Her son, Sali Bey, now 
about twelve years old, is separated from his mother, and has 
nominally the government of the large city of Argyro Kastro. The 
favourite of Ali Pasha at this time was an Albanian girl, young, and 
of great beauty. Her pre-eminence in the Haram was marked by a 
more 'sumptuous dress, but did not entitle her to refuse a profound 
obeisance to the wives of Mouctar or Veli Pasha, whenever these 

■I *» 

* I derive these statements finom a source of good authority. 


ladies visited the Haram of their father-in-law. Such visits appear 
to have been frequently made, and as might be expected from the 
Turkish usage, without any sense of indecorum. It is a common 
thing for the Vizier to make a present to any favomite officer of a 
wife from his Haram, and it seems that in such cases the gift roiist of 
necessity be accepted. A friend of mine, the Divan Effendi, or 
Turkish secretary of the Vizier, received in this way a Circassian 
female while I was in loannina. I have heard him express himself 
in rapturous terms about his wife : but I have known one or two other 
instances of Albanians, who have hastened to betroth themselves 
dsewhere, lest such a gift should be forced upon their acceptance. 

The adherence of Ali Pasha to the tenets of the Mahomedan 
religion is by no means rigid, and probably depending more on a 
sense of interest, that upon any zeal or affection for these tenets. He 
has few of the prejudices of a Mussulman ; and in regarding those 
around him, his consideration obviously is, not the religion of the 
man, but whether he can be of service to any of his views. I have 
seen a Christian, a Turkish, and a Jewish secretary, sitting on the 
ground before him at the same moment, — an instance of the principle 
which is carried throughout every branch of his government. In 
Albania especially, the Christian and Mussulman population are 
virtually on the same footing as to political liberty ; all indeed slaves, 
but the former not oppressed, as elsewhere in Turkey, by those sub- 
ordinate agencies of tyranny, which render more grating the chain 
that binds them. It may fairly be said that under this government 
all religions find an ample toleration. I have even known instances 
where Ali Pasha has directed Greek churches to be built for the use 
of the peasants, as is the case in one or two of the villages on the 
plain of Arta. 

Though without rehgious bigotry, however, (or perhaps religious 
feehng,) Ali Pasha exhibits certain superstitions, which possibly may 
have been engrafted on his early youth. He has his lucky and 
unlucky days, and is said to have shewn belief at times in the magic 
.arts of charm and conjuration. Mixed with the good sense of his 


conversation, I have now and then noticed a tone of credulity, which 
perhaps, however, could not be construed into more than a belief, that 
human art went further into the mysteries of nature than it really 
does, — a natural mistake in a man of talent, partially instructed. I 
have once or twice seen a Derveish with him, one of those strange 
appendages of eastern state which combine the repute of sanctity 
with buflfoonery, or even idiotcy of manner. It did not appear, 
however, that he paid any attention to the gesticulations of this man, 
or thought of him otherwise than merely as an adjunct to his court'. 

I have hitherto spoken chiefly of the better parts of Ali Pasha';^ 
character. Truth compels the addition of other features of less 
pleasing kind ; and to the general picture of eastern despotism must 
be annexed some traits peculiar to the man. The most striking of 
these are, a habit of perpetual artifice, shewn in every circumstance of 
his life ; and a degree of vindictive feeling, producing acts of the most 
tmqualified ferocity. The most legitimate form his cunning assumes, 
is in political matters, where, according to frequent usage, it might 
perhaps have the name of sagacity and adroitness. He is eminently 
skilled in all the arts of intrigue, and his agents or spies are to be 
found every-where in the Turkish empire, doing the work of their 
master with a degree of zeal which testifies at once his own talent 
in their selection, and the commanding influence of his powers over 
the minds of all that surround him. His poUtical information, 
derived from these sources, and from the ample use of bribery, is of 
the best kind ; and it may, I believe, be affirmed as a fact, that not a 
single event of importance can occur at Constantinople, even in the 
most secret recesses of the Divan, which is not known within eight 
days at the Seraglio of loannina. 

The personal artifice of Ali's character, however, is the trait which 
most impresses those around him with alarm. Whatever be the 
external testimony of the moment, no man feels secure beneath his 
power ; or even it may be said, what I know from my own observ- 
ation, that an unusual fairness of aspect is often the source of greatest 
|«rror to those concerned. To cozen with a form of feir words seems 


at once the habit and delight of the man/ It is said to be a piin-> 
ciple with him never to allow any one to go discontented from hiis 
presence, and I have heard in illustration of this, that it is not 
uncommon for him to adopt a peculiar kindness of manner to those 
whom he has detehnined to sacrifice ; the tmhapp j victim quits him; 
satisfied and secure, and a few minutes after his head' is severed 
from his body. With the same temper of mind, and with the saine 
artifice of manner, he is enabled often* to allure into his powers 
those of his enemies, who, for the moment, have escaped hb ven* 
geance. In such cases', no pledge arrests his hand, or can save the 
affehder from * destruction. I have known many striking instances 
of the effect of this character, especially among the Greek families 
of loannina; a sort of undefined terror ever hanging over them; ^a 
perpetual' s^ise'of insecurity, and a fearfulness of committing even 
to the walls the sound of the voice, on any subject connected with 
' their despotic master. To one who has lived but under the shield 
of a fi^ee government, the picture of the moral influence of tyranny 
cannot fail to be impressive, and ought to be instructive also; 

The positive cruelty of Ali Pasha^s * temper admits of little palli- 
ation ; connected as it seems to be, not solely with ambitious views, 
but often also' with feelings of a more personal kind. Something 
md^y. be allowed for national habit ; and it must be recollected ftirther, 
that many of the spectacles, which appear to the stranger as the 
effects of cruelty, are in reality the acts of executive justice; de^ 
pending, it is true, upon the discretion of ope arbitrary judge, biit 
many of them licensed by the usage of civilized nations. Still there 
rraoains a heavy account in the life of this man ; and the proofs 'of 
a ferocious and vindictive temper are spread over every page of his 
history. His vengeance is not a momentary feeUng, satiated with 
the destruction of the object ; but continues after the lapse of years, 
and seeks for its satisfiiction even the children and all the race of the 
offender. I shall hereafter have occasion to mention the dreadful 
spectacle I saw near Argyro Kastro; the bodies or bones of ipore 
than 600 people, who had been massacred befi)re his eyes, for an 

c c 

194 yK6B (a ALt KASHA'S CHAHACTEft { 

ofeace ooramiued against his family 40 years before* During 'mj 
first Tint to laanoiBa^ a circmnstance occurred of the same general 
Atampw A certain Albanian^ many years before^ had slain a cousin 
of the Yii:ier% and oommitted other tiflfences (agasast Mm ; he was 
tahen soon afterwards, actually roasted ialive, and his children put to 
death*. A brother of ithis man, who had escaped at the moment, 
fell into his powe^ at the time we were at loamiina; aDured, it was 
smd, by promises of oblivion of the family offence. He was cut 
into pieces, and his limbs thrown into the public street before the 
area of the Sera^k). At tibe time I did not learn the story of this 
dreadAil execution ; but afterwards heard the cause from one of my 
Albanian guards, who happened to have been present at the death 
of' the other brother and his children. 

Tli« anecdote of sixteen females, of Mouctar Pasha's Harara, 
who were drowned at the same time in the lake of it>annina, may 
already be known to some of my readers, though with some variety 
perhaps in the narrative of the event. The relation which I heard, 
was, that the jealousy of •Mouctar's wife, exerting her influence upon 
the mind of the Viaier, had led to this catastrophe ; but I cannot 
answer for the accuracy <»f the story. It may be observed, that the 
common mode of capital punishment for females in Turkey, is that 
of drowning; and if the punishmait be decreed for a crime, the 
lavct does not excite more astonishment there, than death upon the 
fica£&)ld does wiih us. A woman wi^ punished in this way the last 
time I was in loannina^ for what crime i am ignorant. 

The influence of Ali Pasha^ government upon the country oi 
which he is master, has already been noticed in ihe preceding 
diapters^ and will be Author illustrated in other paitaof mynaiK 
rative. If I were asked a genera) opinion, I «honid say that, not^ 
withstanding all the fauhs and evils of despotism, it » btoeficial 


* The management of the execution was oommitted to Yusuf A^ an old Moor, of 
whom I ^aH hereafter speak; and it is possible tbat he and his Huister may have devised 
dds horrible ai^de of dttHl^ . 


rather ikiBSk otherwise ; chiefly in having aboUshed the petty tyran^ 
nies which before afflicted this part of Turkey* and in d^roBsing bin 
Turkish subjectB nearly to the same level as the Greeks ; an advan* 
tage which the active talent of the latter people will not for^o, when 
the iron hand is removed which now presses alike on all. It must be 
confessed, that the surmise is problematical^ but it is not impossiUe, 
Aat this single mastery may belter pave the way to future liberty , 
than the fluctuating and divided slavery in which the Greeks of this 
country were before held. The power of AU Pteha has united the 
greater part of Albania and Thessaly into one i^te; and has anni- 
hilated the brigands which formerly infested these fine provinces. 
He has renderod internal communieation ev^y-where secure, and 
shewn mudli attrition to the constaruction of roads, the building of 
bridges, and other points of internal improvement These works 
will survive him, and may possibly give facility to fiiture efforts /or 
the freedom of the ccEuntry. It must be acknowledged^ howev^r^ 
that no prospective ViJBWs of this kind reooncile the Greeks to. his 
govenmiait, or render him popular among this people. The actual 
evil of slavery will always out-weigh, with the existing geheralion, 
any views of 'future contingent benefit Those Greeks vAio serire 
him, do it from fear, halHt, or interest; and whik the phrases oi 
ypiclotatos Vizyrts and U nostra Prmdfe come in frequent repetitioti 
fiom their mouths, it is evidoit that they feel his rule to be at once 
their misfortune and their disgrace. 

Nor is the govemmait of AU Pasha a popular one with the Turks 
who live under it Little distinction is shewn either to their religicm 
or race; and under a system in which men are valued chiefly 
according to their active services, the general indolence of the Turk 
finds its true level, and sinks into comparative insignificance. This 
military power of AU does not depend upon this portion of hift 
subjects, and they are the least profitable to his Tevenues. The 
character of a Mussulman gives no exemption in Aflbaaia from the 
tyranny of his rule. The victims who perished in the massacf^ lit 

c c ? 

i^i^-r--, »»^«, ««*»»"^jt^ W escaped .u 
^* W°*1 »«teen «^>«' °*^ : 

^^'-^ ^ «»«e of n-y "=-"1' :: 

s^ -^""'ttwtive of the event. 
tine «»'\ „f Mouctot s w i 
W«^^« Wiled to 

■^ «d if AeP«"'*'" 

r^„eB« of A>. Pastas 

^i, ma«er, to «»''» 

«nd will be *^'"=' ' 

W I ««» "'"^ "^ ^''"' 

^ing all *e ftuto an. 

Alvl PASHA. 


' hanasius has signalized himself b)r 
"ar> never shewn scruple or fearjii 
.ii:<btrr. He is reputed to have been the 
. . perate acts which have marked the: late 
. diid it is certain, that he possesses more 
.4ian any other of those who surround 
lIic day he passes. in his apartments; 
• ly informed, sleeps on . the : floor at the 
1 a mber ; his arms . always loaded : . and 
T towards the Viaier, I have often ob- 
abrupt familiarity, . which no . one beside 
* '"^ day, when Ali was speaking to. me on: a 
rdered all his attendants to quit the room, 
of whom he. spoke to me d.t the time, as; a 
nsted with the concerns roost important to. his 
I his influence has been obtained, many a^eccet 
ny be opened to telL Athanasius is scarcely yet 
ctiid not unpleasing features. He has acquired 
is a large possessor .of houses and lands in the 
e place. 
^ be thought that I. have dwdt upon the character 
. Pasha,. more minutely than was needful. I can only 
. . ^r this, in the singular traits which belong to the man, 
« rnment, and in the actual extent of his power, and the 
)inmands. My medical connection with him' gave me 
ins of observing these more personal: features; and the 
I may be interested in the subject, will find in a future pait 
a me, some anecdotes of my further, intercourse with him^ 
ond journey I made through his Albanian dominions.. 
nowledge that I had been consulted by the. Vizier, gain^ 
reus other patients in loannina, not only among the Greeks, 
with many of the principal Turks of the city. One of the 
c latter class, was Omar Bpy, a man of wuch influence in 
in parts of Albania. He commanded the Turkish cavalry 


Gardiki.were all Maliomedans^ and the Porte made strenuous efforts 
to save them, but without avail. 

The real source of Ali Pasha^s strength is the Albanian population 
of his dominions. Here he has not only military force, of thie kind 
most efficacious in Turkish warfare, but can rely also on theattad^ 
ment and fidelity of the people. . Born in the midst of them^ 
educated in their customs and language, and raised into greatness 
by their bravery; the Albanians are proud of their countryman, 
and glory in his elevation. Their military service is less one. of 
compulsion, than the national habit of the people, exercised. under 
a chieflain whom they respect and admire. Ali Pasha is well aware 
of the value of these dispositions, and diligently fosters them; as 
much perhaps from inclination as policy. I have had frequent 
opportunities of noticing this feet. He accosts the Albanian soldier 
rather as a comrade than a slave, talks with him in a gay familiar 
manner, a^nd makes himself acquainted, with his family and personal 
nierits,and rewards a course of long service with the most liberal dona- 
tions. To an old soldier who travelled with me as a guard. through 
the northern parts of Albania, he. had recently given 5000. piastres; 
and instances of this kind are continually occurring. * All the mili* 
tary offices in his dominions are confided to Albanians ; many of 
them grown old, or wounded in his service. Among these men, I 
have generally found a warm devotion, to the interests, and a. feeling 
of pride in the greatness, of their, master. 

. Some of the ministers about the court of Ali are Turks ; and Greeks 
occupy other offices of his Seraglio ; but those who most confidentially 
surroimd his person are Albanians, and many of them the old 
adherents of the family at Tepeleni. The individual whose in** 
fluence with the Vizier is most powerful and decided, is Athanasius 
Bia, . elder brother of one of his physicians. This man is a native of 
Lekli, .a village in the mountain-defiles near Tepeleni: his &ther 
was. killed,. and he himself has been wounded, in the service of Ali 
Pasha, whose fortunes he has. followed from his earliest youth. A 



Diaa of undaunted intre^Mdity^ Athanasius has signalized himself by 
TslLiious military.. actions, and has never shewn scruple: or fearJii 
executing the orders of bis. master. He is reputed to have been the 
agent in some of the most desperate.acts which have marked the. late 
history of Ali's government ; and it is certain, that he possesses more 
of the Vizier's confidence than any other of those who surround 
him. The greater part of the. day he. passes. in his apartments; 
and at night, if I am rightly, informed, sleeps on the; floor at the 
entrance of his master's chamber; his arms, always loaded .and 
beside him. In his manner towards the Vizier, I have often ob- 
served a freedom, or even abrupt familiarity, which no. one beside 
dared to assume. One day, when Ali was speaking to. me on; a 
partieular subject, heord^oed all his attendants to quit the room, 
excepting Athanasius, of whom he.spd&e to me d.t the time, as: a 
man. that might be trusted with the concerns roost important to. has 
inter£sts. . How all this influence has been obtained, many a^seccet 
history, must probably be opened to tell. Athanasius is scarcely yet 
forty, with manly and not unpleasing features. He has acquired 
much wealth, and is a large possessor. of houses and lands in the 
vicinity of his native place. 

It may perhaps be thought that I. have dwdt upon the character 
and habits of Ali Pasha, more minutely than was needful. I can only 
excuse myself for this, in the singular traits which belong to the maQ, 
.and to his government, and in the actual extent of his power, and the 
territory he. commands. My medical connection with him' gave me 
peculiar means of observing these more personal, features ; and the 
reader, who may be interested in the subject, will find in a future pait 
^f.this vdume, some anecdotes of my further, intercourse with him, 
in the second journey I made through his Albanian dominions.. 

.The knowledge that I had been consulted by the Vizier, gained 
me numerous other patients in loannina, not only among the Greeks, 
but also with many of the principal Turks of the city. One of the 
iirst of the latter class, was Omar B^y, a man of xnnch ittfluenee in 
ihe northern parts of Albania. He comui^nded the Turkish cavalry 


^ Alexandria, when we made our last unfortunate expedition ta 
Egjpty and is reputed to have amassed great wealth in that country; 
His former residence, when in Albania, was at Berat; but either 
from a dread of Ibrahim Pasha, or perceiving that Ali Padw would 
ultiniatdjr succeed in the contest between these two powers, ha came 
over to the Vixier, and was afterwards employed as one of his 
generals in the war against Ibrahim. His influence at Berat, which 
contributed to the event of the contest, still continues very great ; i^ud 
it has been surmised, that if a dismemberment of territory tekes place 
on the death of Ali, he is likely to become the Pasha of this plaoe^ 
I have heard it rumoured also, that his life would be a precarious one, 
but for the attachment of the Albanians of this part of the country 
to his person. He was now Uving at loannina, in apartmenis within 
the area of the Seraglio. He retains a large and splendid retinue ; 
and I have seen him go out to take the exercise of the ^^tridy on the 
plains to the west of the city, attended by 15 or 16 followers, all 
lichly dressed, and mounted on bebiitiiul Arabian h&rses, which tliey 
managed with singular boldness and address. 

Another of my Turkish patients, was Hadje Sheikri, a man much 
in the confidence of the Vizier, and often employed in secret mis^ 
lions to Constantinople. I visited this Turk two or three times in 
his own house, and found him courteous, with some humour, and a 
good deal of knowledge derived from ft*equent intercourse with 
Europeans in the capital. A third patient was Mahomet Effendi, 
an elderly man of much consequence at loannina, and who generally 
holds the government of the city during the absence of the Viraer. 
I visited him in an apartment of the Seraglio, where he was sur- 
rounded by eight or ten other Turks, all smoking on their couches. 
It appeared that he had desired to consult me, chiefly as an oppor<- 
tunity of displaying his own knowledge. I found him much more 
Idquacious than is the habit of Turks, and extremely vain of the 
supposed or superficial knowedge he had acquired. He spoke of 
Alexander the Great, of India, of the sun and jrfanets, and of th(^ 
truth of astrology, and told me a long story of an Arabian, who had 



given him on his death-bed, a secret for calculating the fate and 
fortunes of men. A much more reasonable patient of the same 
nation, was Ishmael Bey, another of the ministers of the Vizier, 
who resides with a good deal of state in the old Seraglio of the 
fortress. His horses were sent to carry me thither from my lodg« 
ing, and he received me with some ceremony ; an interpreter and 
several attendants being in waiting. To say the best of it» however, 
I foui^l , my medical practice with those, and other Turks who con* 
sult^mie, both laborious and unpleasant, not so much frcMU tiiie po^u- 
dices or habits of this people^ as from ;the diikmlty of amving at the 
nature of their complaints. Some of them could not speak the 
Rosttdc ; an interpreter then was necessary who undenteod the, Turk^ 
lib ; and aa it 8c»netime9 hs^pened* that he spoke neither Italian Bor 
f'rench, a second was vequirad who oould esplain to me, in one of 
these languages, the symptoms described* JSvery question I. wished 
to ask, was of.courae dbliged to re^aseend all the stagesof ilhis tiiwer 
of Babel, before an answer could bfo obtained. The time^speht id 
such oonsiiilatioQS may easily be coiiceived, and ajnedwal jmrnwill 
at jOBoe .iippcdiend :the ^isagseeable .uncertainty at aiiy * pnJctioei 
founded on such clumsy aad circwtous inteicoufse with the patieiML 

( 200 ) 









THE messenger whom the Vizier had dispatched tx) Santa-^Maura 
L to fetch our luggage, was detained two or three days in that 
island by contrary winds, and did not reach loannina until the 
evening of the 4th of November. He brought us every thing in 
safety ; and we immediately began the preparations for our journey 
into Thessaly ; apprehensive lest the rapid approach of winter might 
impede our passage over the chain of Pindus, which is often imprac- 
ticable to the traveller during this season. ' The winter snows had 
already accumulated on all the hi^er mountains, and we derived' a 
somewhat dismal augury to our journey, from the forebodings of our 
friends at loannina. Nevertheless, those who best knew the coimtry, 
assured us that the road was still perfectly practicable ; and, with the 
permission. of the Vizier, we decided upon setting out in the course of 
the following day. 

We were at the Seraglio for half an hour on the evening preceding 
our departure, and had an interview with the Vizier in an apartment 
that was new to me, and even more splendid in its decorations than 
those I had before seen. He continued all the appearances of friend*!- 
ship in his speeches and professions, again expressed his satisfaction 
that I had consented to visit Veli Pasha at Larissa, and his request 
that I, would give his son my opinion upon his complaints, in writing. 
We had a final interview with hi'm the following morning, when he 
stilted to us the arrangements he had made for our mode of travelling,. 

' -BinmobxtDf. foi 

said that he had directed post-horses to be furnished for our journey, 
and that he had appointed a Tartar to attend us, in whom we might 
place confidence ; adding, that we might take him with us to Athens, 
if satisfied with his conduct ; or, if dissatisfied, discharge him at 
Larissa, and obtain another from Veli Pasha. To this Tartar he 
told us he should commit the Buyrauldij or official mandate, which 
was to serve as a passport to our journey, ordering at the same time 
(me of his secretaries to prepare the paper for his signature. I have 
given below a translation * of this curious mandate, the original of 
which is in the Romaic language. It may be worthy of notice that 
the word translated gentlemen is in the original MiXofSot ; the term 
MiiordoSj by a singular process of inference, having become the 
almost uniform appellation of every EngUsh traveller in Greece, as^ 
wdl as in the other parts of the European continent. 

In passing through the area of the Seraglio this inoming, We saw 
the head of a man suspended upon a pole, three or four feet above 
the ground, the blood even yet dropping from the divided neck. 
This execution must have taken place but a few minutes before, as 

* << From his Royal Highness the Vizier Ali Pasha. 

^* Orders to the Waiwodes, Agas, Bulu-bashees^ Derveni-ethes, Proestotes, of all thi 
the cities and districts where these two English goidemen, friends of mine, may present 
themselves, to be carefiil that they are not molested by any one, even in the slightest cir- 
cumstance. Also to treat them with every kind of hospitality, in all things of which they 
may have need, without allowing them to sofielr the least inconvenience; and if they 
diould have need of men for their secure passage throng the country^ to give them itadi 
immediately. Finally, to order things, so that they may be satisfied with all of you: 
otherwise, if thqr complain to me of your not having treated them with the proper hoq[ii« 
tality, or of your not having given them men for their secure passage^ you wdl know that 
to me no excuses cant)e given. 

'< loamUmu 

<< Wheresoever they may remain, it is your duty to receive them, to give them 
and to render them whatsoever service they may desire^ without their suffering the least 
inconvenience^ otherwise they will not be content with you.'' 



we had previously crossed the area, and could not have failed to 
observe the spectacle, had it then been presented. Wq did not think 
it prudent to inquire into the circumstancesi and probably no one 
could have given us information. It seemed evident that the sight 
was wholly indifferent to the rude assemblage of soldiers in the ai:ea^ 
accustomed doubtless to these exhibitions of despotic terror. 

When quitting the Vizier, he renewed his expressions of friendship ; 
desired me to write to him from Larissa ; and urged me strongly to 
perform my promise of returning to loannina, after I had visited 
Athens and the Morea. A short time after this last interview, the 
Secretary Colovo came to the house of Metzou, bringing with him a 
Turkish sabre, which the Vizier had ordered him to present to me, as 
a testimony of his gratitude for my medical services. It was a 
Damascus blade, remakably curved in form, and of very fine work<- 
manship, the value of which I was led to believe considerable, frran 
the offers aft;erwards made me for it. 

Owing to some delay in procuring post-horses, we did not quit 
loannina before two o'clock. It was with regret that we bade adieu 
to the family of our kind host, who had been imremitting in their 
attentions, and who now expressed their sorrow at our departure, with 
an openness of manner which attested its sincerity. Fsalida, Metax^, 
Joannes Mela, and several other of our ft*iends, came in to visit us, 
and to afford either counsel or good wishes to our journey. At 
length we were summoned to depart by the appearance of our 
Tartar, Osmy n, a man apparently between forty and fifty, of tall and 
stately figure, and habited in the costume, which is perhaps derived m 
part from the ancient Tartar dress, but is now appropriated in Turkey 
by all who exercise the profession of public couriers. A high cap 
covers the head, nearly resembling in form that worn by the Greeks, 
but taller, and of a yellow colour, with the exception of the roulided 
summit, the colour of which seems to depend upon individual taste. 
The neck is open, according to the uniform .custom of the East. The 
exterior garment is of brown cloth, extremely loose about the sleeves, 
with red trimmings, and various &ncy figures upon it, worked in 



direads of the same colour. The inner vests are two or three in 
number, frequently made of velvet, with a line of rich lacing in front, 
and various other trimmings and ornaments of silver. The belt, 
which is very broad, is formed of long shawls, drawn tightly round 
the body, and in this are fixed the arms of the Tartar, generally 
consisting of a dagger or straight sword, and one or two large pistols, 
the handles of very rich workmanship. The loose cloth trowser, or 
petticoat, which they wear below, is usually of a leaden colour, with 
wide yellow leather boots coming up underneath it. A Tartar, thus 
equipped, is an imposing figure, though apparently too bulky for 
the office of a courier, and not well adapted to the smallness of 
the horses of the country. Nevertheless these men make journles 
of great length with almost incredible speed, and sustain fatigues of 
the most arduous and extraordinary kind* I have heard, but ¥dll 
not vouch for the truth of the story, that a Tartar rode from Tripo- 
litza, in the Morea, to Constantinople, and back again, in little more 
than twelve days, a distance of at least 1200 miles*. I know it to be 
the fact that the Tartars of Ali Pasha frequently ride from loannina 
to Constantinople in six days, and some of them are said to have per- 
formed it occasionally in five. Their usual pace, when travelling 
post, is a canter or hard gallop ; they are attended in each stage by a 
wuTudze or postillion, who sometimes, as I have heard, leads the horse 
of the Tartar, while the latter is sleeping on his back.-f- 

* As a matter of oompariflcni, it may be worth noticii^ 
lode from Ampbissa, near Delphi, to Pella in Macedonia, in between two and three days, 
a distance of about zoo miles. livy calls this incredUnUs cderiUts. lAy. lib^xxxvij. c, fp 

f It will be well here to subjoin a few remarks respecting the mode of travelling in 
Turkey, as these may be useful to the future tntveller in this country. It is always desir- 
ably when entering upon a journey, to be provided, if possible^ either with a general 
firman from <]!onstantinople, or pasqiorts from the local goyemments through which you 
may be travelling; without which, even should there be no personal risk, there is always dif- 
ficulty in obtaining horses, and a liability to be constantly imposed upon* In^ dominions 
of Ali Pasha, no flmum is equal to a few words widi his signature annexed to them ; or 
rather it may be said, that here no mandate has lefiectual power but his ow^* It is always 

n D 2 


Tliese Tartar^ perform all the offices of pubjic couriers in Turkey^ 
and are attached in this capacity tp the different governments of th^ 

desirable to be attended by a Tartar or Jaiussary, as well for security as to fieidlitate the 
prc^^s of tlie journey. The payment of these men is determined in some degree by 
the length of time they travel with you: if for one or two months, a dollar ora dollar and 
a half per day will be miScknt : if the journey is only of a fisw days, the propcirtioiuite 
oompensation must be greater. It is important to procure an order from the local 
government where you are travellings for the. use of post-horses, of which there ar^ 
establishments at all the principal towns in Turkey. This saves both time and difficulty 
in a point which more than any other embarasses the traveller. In all the detail of 
arrangements respecting horses, as well as in procuring lodging for tfie night, he is obliged 
to xely chiefly vpon theactivityof his Tartar or Janissary; if left to himsd^ and especially 
if unaccustomed to the habits of the country, be is harassed by unceasing perplexities atf tp 
these matters. A Pasha occasionally gives a passport, which entitles the traveller to th^ 
use of postrhorses without any other expence than a small sum to the master of each post 
house^ and to the sourudzes who travel with you from post to post. By the &vour of Ali 
Pasha we travelled on this footing throughout every part of his territory, after leaving 
loanninftODOur w^y into Thessaly. Where this advantage is not obtained, some varialipn 
^ntt be found in the expence of horses in different districts; but the average pirice may 
perhaps be vate^ at six piastres, or about six shillings a-day for each horse. 

The smaller the compass in which the traveller comp^zes his luggage, the greater 
fiicility of course does it give to his journey. As every thing is carried on horseback, it is 
weS to have some oD-case covering, or large leathern bags, both to save trouble in 
anranging thenrticles of luggage^ and to protect them iigainst rainor dust Theadvantage 
of carrying European saddles into Turkey was formerly mentioned. Portable beds are 
indispensable to the traveller, as he will never meet with bedding of any description, 
^Hsept in the houses of Greeks of the higher class. The contrivance of these may be 
determined by individual taste; but I should recommend some description of bed-stead, 
aff a protection against the naked earth, which often forms the only flooring of the nightly 
habitation. A small canteen, in a country where even knives and forks are sddom founds 
and where the cooking of provisions must in general be trusted to the servant of the 
traveller, is also necessary. 

The coins most commonty used in Turkey are the gold Venetian zequins, dollars, 
piastres, and paras. The zeqnin has generally a value of about eleven piastres ; the dollar 
on 'ibe coast, and in the Ionian Isles, is equal to five and a half piastres, but in many 
paits of the interior is -valued at six. There are other gold coins in circulation of smaller 
Value than the zequins, tod silver pieces of two and two and a hidf piastres. In projecting^ 
a journey through Turkey, it is desirable to provide yourself with a certain amount of 



empire. Those in the employ of Ali Pasha are very numerouB, an4 
are held in the highest repute throu^out all Turkey for their superior 
activity and speed. They receive a small regular payment ; but their 
principal profit is . derived from the remuneration of their active 
services, which reward is occasionally of the most liberal kind. Those 
who now fulfil the office of Tartars are chiefly native Turks of th6 
country, and the occupation is considered by no means of a discredit- 
able nature. 

In consequence of the lateness of the hour when we quitted 
loanninia, wje did not proceed farther that evening than the Khan of 
Kyra^ ten or twelve miles from the city. Skirting the lake to it* 
southern extremity, we wound round the insulated hill formerly 
described, by a terraced road, which in some places forms the only 
interval between the w^ter and the face of the rock. This hill is 
entirely of lime-stone, but singularly tinged with iron; and tile rock, 
probably in conseqjuenoe of this quantity of iron, fractured in a -velry 
extraordinary degree, particularly at the place where it is said that a 
portion of water from the lake finds a subterraneous exit. I did not 
obs^ve any strong current in the narrow channel which comes up to 
the base of the rock, and the quantity of water escaping in this way 
must undoubtedly be smalL From various points in the road may be 
seen the massive remains of the ancient fortress 'or city, which once 
stood upon this eminence* 

Beyond this pass, we entered a broad valley, which forms a part of 
the plains of loannina^ separated only by the prolongation of the hill 

nKMiey in dollars and zequins, and with letters of credit to ^ Qrefk merdmta in tV.e 
principal cities, which may easily be obtained at Malta. I should further reconunend 
the traveller to fiimish himself with some little articles, of which to make presents in 
passing throagh the country. He is ofton entertained in Greek houses, mthout the 
possibility of making a direct compensation, except to the domestics, and in sudi cases, 
some trifle of English n^anu&pture, left with the femides pf the fiimily, or a book put 
into the hands of the master <tf the house, will be felt as a prpper method of relieving this 



just mentioned, and by the expansion of the lake to the north. Hie 
great ridge of Metzoukel, extending in a southerly direction, but 
declining rapidly in height, forms the eastern boundary of this valley, 
which is picturesque in its features and productive in its soil. The 
cultivation, as in other parts of the plain of loannina, is chiefly of 
maize and wheat. The village of Barkamouthi on one side the 

valley, and the Greek monastery of Santa-Veneranda, surrounded by 


woods, on the other, add much to the character of the landscape. 
Pursuing an easterly direction across this stripe of level country, we 
began the ascent of the ridge of hill, which forms the continuation 
of Metzoukel, intervening between the plains of loannina and the 
valley of the Aracthus, or river of Arta. The ascent is steep and labo* 
rious, though the road has been well constructed with a view to lessee 
these difficulties. The summit of the ridge, as well in this place as 
where it rises into the lofly heights of Metzoukel, is so narrow, that 
the descent commences at the very moment you have attained the 
highest level ; yet is the traveller of necessity arrested on this summit 
by the extraordinary magnificence of the view that surrounds and lies 
beneath him. On the one side are the deep bason and lake of 
Ipannina, with their surrounding plain and mountains ; the palaces 
and minarets of the city still distinctly seen overhanging the waters of 
the lake : on the other side, the profound valley of the Aracthus, 
which may be traced far into the distance between the great eastern 
front of Metzoukel, and the towering central heights of the Pindus 
chain. Both as respects singularity and grandeur, I know scarcely 
any view which is comparable to the one from this spot. Its pecu- 
liarity arises from the perfect separation and contrast of two great 
landscaf>es, present to the eye almost at the same moment of time : 
the grandeur of each landscape is that derived from extent, and frorn 
the magnitude of all the objects composing their outlines. To the 
traveller coming from Thessaly, whose journey for nearly two days has 
been through a mountainous region, I conceive that the view on the 
side of loannina must be the most imposing ; but abstracting this cir- 
cumstance, I i^ould consider the opposite landscape as altogether more 


surprising and magnificent in its features. From the point where the 
road crosses the ridge, to the channel of the river, is a steep declivity 
of at least a thousand feet in height. Immediately beyond the river 
commences the ascent of Pindus, the successive ridges and elevation 
of which conduct the eye to summits, which I presume from various 
circumstances, (though without any certain method of estimate,) to be 
little less than seven thousand feet above the level of the sea. Look- 
ing northwards, other parts of the great Pindus chain come into view, 
particularly the mountains of Zagora, the vast precipices of which are 
covered with forests of pines. From this lofty region descends one 
branch of the river of Arta, forming its junction with the other, or 
Metzovo branch, in the deep hollow intervening between Metzoukel 
and Pindus. The course of the river cannot, be traced downwards 
far beyond this junction ; it is lost to the sight amidst the vast moun- 
tain-defiles which form its only passage to the plains and gulph of Arta. 
The Khan of Kyra, or the Lady's Khan, where we stopped for the 
night, is a solitary building, situated a little below the summit of the 
ridge we had just traversed ; and having before and beneath it the 
landscape I have been describing. The evening was cold and stormy, 
and the place, as we approached it, bore an aspect of wildness and 
desolation. The Khan, which is the property of Mouctar Pasha, 
resembled those we had before seen ; a square of low buildings, 
rudely constructed, with a gateway in fi*ont, surmounted by a sort of 
open turret. The greater part of these buildings is occupied as 
stabling: the apartments for the accommodation of travellers are 
wretched places, with naked walls, no windows, and not a single 
article of furniture, except straw mattresses. Bread, goatVmilk, 
cheese, and wine, were the only provisions we could obtain here ; and 
we found that our loannina fiiends had judged kindly in furnishing 
us with a small store for our journey. The water at this place, how- 
ever, is reputed of very excellent quality ; and it is. said that the 
Vizier is frequently supplied with it from a fountain which has been 
erected in a hollow of tl^e mountain, near to the Khan. The Tartar, 
Osmyn, and another Turk who had joined oiir party, slept in a room 


adjoinihg to us. Several other cavalcades of men and horses came 
to the Khan in the course of the evening, and the noise of rude song 
and boisterous merriment went through evey part of the building. . 

We resumed our journey at an early hour the following morning, 
but. under the inauspicious circumstance of thick hazy weather^* 
which continued during the greater part of the day, and afforded us 
only very partial views of the surrounding scenery. This is a mis- 
fortune to the traveller in any situation ; but he particularly feels it 
as an evil, when traversing a country little known, and abounding in 
natural beauties* Our cavalcade was increased this morning by the 
addition of several Albanian peasants, who probably desired to avail 
themselves of the protection of our Tartar in their journey. Besides 
Osmiyn and the other Turk who travelled with us, we had a fmiher 
guard in our servant Demetrius, who was armed with pistols, . a 
dagger, and the Turkish sabre I had received from the Vizier. There 
is in reality, however, but httle danger in travelling through this part 
of Albania. The power of the Vizier is so rigidly exercised, and the 
.terror of his name such, that few banditti venture thus near to his 
'Capital, and the traveller who sets forth with his written passport, is 
doubly and trebly armed in this aloiie. 

Our journey to-day was to Metzovo, a town situated among the 
heights of Pindus, near one of the sources of the river of Arta, aad 
about tweoty-four miles distant from the Khan of Kyra- The relative 
bearing of Metzovo from loannina is about east^north-east, but the 
route between the two places is rendered circuitous, by crossing the 
ridge of Metzoukel at the southe]^ extremity of the lake, and by 
following upwards ' the valley of the river. The broad paved road, 
which brought us from loannina to the Khan, is continued towacds 
Metzovo ; and being carried in a winding line along the sides of the 
mountains is rendered passable even for the carriages of the Vizier. 
Our Tartar, however, proposed to conduct us by a shorter route along 
the channel of the river, and we complied with his advice. The 
descent into the valley was by a path extremely steep and dangerous, 
and occupied us more than an hour. We reached the banks of the 


river near the small Khan of Balduni, a picturesque and beautiful 
spot, shaded by the fbliage of large plane trees, and appearing as if 
secluded from the world by the amphitheatre of mountains which sur- 
round it. Tlie junction of the two branches of the river, from Zagora 
and Metzovo, takes place a short way above the Khan ;^ and the 
united streams flow through a rocky channel, about fifty yards in 
width. The course of the river may from this point be traced a con- 
siderable way through the mountains in a southerly direction. Near 
its eastern bank, and about eight hours' journey from loannina, is the 
ilorishing town of Kalarites, built, as I am informed, with much more 
regularity than is usual in the towns of Turkey. The population, 
which I believe to be chiefly Wallachian, is respectable, cultivated, 
and extensively engaged in commercial pursuits, of the same nature 
as those carried on by the merchants of loannina. 

From this Khan we ascended the river to the junction of the 
Zagora and Metzovo branches, which unite at a very acute angle ; 
Ae k)fty intervening ridge terminating in a promontory, finely clothed 
With wood. The appearance of wood was in some degree a new 
feature to us in the scenery of Albania, as we had hitherto seen little 
of it, except in the immediate environs of Arta. The vallies, how- 
ever, which we were now entering, and the precipitous hills forming 
their boundary, derive much beauty from the foliage which covers 
them, and which at this time was coloured with the richest tints of 
autumn. We crossed, by a well-built bridge, the river of Zagora, 
which is itself formed by two principal branches, one of them called 
the Warda, descending in a south-west direction from a mountain 
called Tchoukarouka, the other from a part of the Zagora mountains, 
somewhat further to the west. 

The canton of Zagora, though every-where extjemely mountainous, 
yet contains a large population, occupied partly as shepherds, partly 
in the cultivation of their vallies and the acclivity of their mountains. 
I have heard the number of villages in the district estimated at up- 
wards of forty ; the principal of which is distant from loannina a 
journey of about ten hours in a north-east direction. Among the 

£ £ 

2 10 ZAGIORA, 

inhabitants are many respectable Greek families; but the greater 
part of the population is of WaUachian descent, a remnant of those 
tribes \^hich have long been settled and sheltered in different situ- 
ations of this mountain chain, and are distinguished by their hardy 
and independent habits of life, as the shepherds of the country. The 
flocks are very numerous and valuable in these elevated districts ; and 
the Wallachians, or Vlakij as they are called in Greece, are here 
generally employed in tending them ; passing the summer among diei 
mountains, and descending to the plains in the winter, in those large 
migrating bodies, one of which we had accidentally met on the road 
between Cinque Fozzi and loannina. 

One of the principal routes over Pindus. is through the canton of 
Zagora, and it is that generally followed by Tartars and other travel- 
lers in riding post from loannina towards Constantinople. The 
mountains of Zagora are distinguished from most other parts of the 
Pihdus chain, by their summits spreading out into wide and opeii 
plains, instead of forming narrow ridges of hill. I shall hereafter 
mention their ancient name, when speaking of the geography of 

From the junction of the rivers, we followed upwards the channel 
of the Metzovo stream, which appears to be larger than the Zagoca 
branch. Our course was chiefly along the bed of the river, which^ 
in a distance (tfhttle more than twelve miles, we crossed and re- 
crossed nearly thirty times ; occasionally with difficulty, owing to the 
ruggedness of the channel, and the strength of the current. Wh^i 
the stream is at all swelled by floods, this route is impracticable,; but 
at other times it is preferable, both as being shorter and more 
picturesque than the paved road. Occasionally our path diverged 
from the bed of thp river into the woods which line its banks, and 
climb the adjacent hills. The oak, the plane, and the chesnut, are the 
trees which chiefly grow in this valley ; and in some instances they 
attain a very large size. The oak appears to be generaUy of that 
kind, which is called in England the Turkey ,pr iron oak, with leaves 
much sertatedy and a rough calyx to the acorn. The comparative 


experiments made upon this tree, indicate a remarkably quick 
growth, without, it is said, any inferiority in the quality of the 
timber to that of our common English oak, either for ship-building 
or other purposes*. It must be very practicable, during the winter 
floods, to float timber down this river to the gulph of Arta, and 
prbbably this may already be done to a certain extent. The smaW 
Valonia oak is also abundant in the valley of the river of Metzovo, the 
folii^ of which every*where gives much richness to the landscape. 

At Pomari, about three hours journey from the Khan of Balduni, 
there is a small house belonging to the Vizier, where he occasionally 
stops when travelling on this road. Three miles further is Tri-khani, 
so named from three Khans which stand near each other, on a woody 
eminence above the river ; the buildings miserable in themselves, 
but extremely picturesque in their situation. Krisovitza^ and 
other small villages, appeared in the recesses of the hills ; but the 
atmosphere was so thick, that we could see but little of the distant 
riew ; and only once or twice during the day obtained a sight of the 
heights of Pindus, below, and among which we were travelling. 

From Tri-khani to Metzovo is three hours joumey. We had 
ascended rapidly all the way from Balduni ; but in thi$i latter part 
of the road, the river has all the characters of a mountain-torrent, 
and to Metzovo the ascent is extremely difficult and laborious. We 
met here two large cavalcades of Turks, richly habited, mounted on 
fine horses, and attended by several Albanese soldiers ; but the rank 
and destinaition of these people we could not leam. The town of 
Metzovo has a most extraordinary situation near one of the sources of 
the river of Arta. Surrounded on every side by high mountain^- 
ridges, it is itself placed on a level, which I believe I should not 
greatly err in estimating at nearly 3000 feet above the sea-f*. It 

* See a paper in this sobject kf 1Kb. VfWte, in the M^anchester Memoirs. Vol. y. 
parti, p. 167. 

f The word Mexao^ in th« Albanese langn^ge^ is said to signify cisalpine; and the name' 

therefore corresponds in meifbig irith that of the Paror^ Who inhabited nearly the same 


B B 2 


wpuld be inaccnrate, however, to assign^ any single level to the 
situation of Metzovo. The town is divided into two unequal portions 
by the deep vaHey, or rAther chasm, of the torrent, which forms a 
brandi .of the river of Arta. By far the most considerable parr is 
that situated on the west side of the valley ; the buiMings climbing 
the ascent of a steep and lofty hill, so as to give to the higher portion 
of the town an etevaticMi of some hundred feet above the lower. The 
place contains nearly 1500 houses, and a population of seven or 
eight thousand. The houses are almost all single in position ; and 
according to the usage of the country, have open gallaies in fronts 
looking towards the vialley beneath the town* TTie intermixture of 
trees with the buildings still further increases the singularity of effect 
derived from their position^ and from the general situation of the 
place. Other deep hollows, communicating with the main valley^ 
break into the projecting hill on which Metzovo. stands, and seem to 
render insecure the buildings which hang over them. Opposed to the 
town in front are the central heights of Pindus ; their ascent inter"* numerous deep ravines, and the intervening ridges covered 
with pines, the peculiar growth of these higher regions. . 

The population of Metzovo is almost entirely of Wallachian descent* 
As in the iadjoining canton of Zagora, a large proportion of the in- 
habitants are employed as shepherds, end numerous flocks of sheep 
belong to proprietors residing in the place, many of whom have 
acquired considerable wealth from this source. Another part of the 
population is engaged in the coarse woollen > manufacture of the 
country ; and others of the lower class in the culture of the vallies 
below the town^ which, though thus elevated in situation, produce 
the grape in considerable qiiantity. 'The wine made here, however, 
is thin and poor, and strongly impregnated mth turpesitine, which 
is considered necessary for its preservation. 

The position o^f Metzovo is one of the most inlerestiitg geographical 
points in the south of Turkey. . From that part of the chain of Pindus 
in its vicinity, four large rivers take their. rise,^ch of which pursues 
a different course towards the sea. The riveir of Arta, the com^e and 

* « 



termination of which, in the gulph of Arta, Jbave already been 
described, is the least considerable of these four streams. The Aspro-^ 
potaino, better known by its ancient and celebrated nameof Achelous^ 
rises at no great distance from one of the sources of the former riven 
Its course is nearly in a southerly direction, through a mountainous 
region, which has been rarely trodden by the foot of the modem 
traveller. Flowing, at the distance of a short day's journey, beyond 
the upper extremity of the gulph of Aria, it continues its progress 
between the ancient iEtolia and Acamania, and enters the Ionian Sea 
near the town of Messalongi, and opposite the small islands which 
were the Ehinades of antiquity. The connection of the river Ache- 
lous with the fabled history of Hercules, is Well known to the classical 
reader. The third of these rivers, and one yet more celebrated in 
its former name and history, is the Peneus, or Salympria, as it is now 
called, which rises on the east^n side of that part of Findus im« 
mediately above Metzovo, and, descending into the great plains of 
Thessaly, pursues its course to the Archipelago, through the deep 
and precipitous defiles of Tempe. The Viosa is the last of the streams 
I have mentioned, the Abus or Aias of antiquity : this large river, 
of which I shall afterwards have occasion to speak, when describing 
my journey in the northern parts of Albania, has its origin in the 
mountains to the north of Metzovo, flows in a north-east direction to 
Tepeleni, and enters the Adriatic sea near the site of the ancient 
city of Apollonia. 

The stale of the weather during our progress from the Khan of 
Kyra to Metzovo, was very unfavourable to any general mine- 
ralogical remarks. The ridge intervening between the plains of 
loannina and the valley of the river of Arta, exhibits, where the 
road crosses it, a series of beds or layers of calcareous shale, regularly 
disposed, but in some places with very great inclination. This 
formation seems to be of comparatively recent origin, and may have 
been derived from the decomposition of the older limestone-rocks of 
the country* I did not observe in it any marine organic remains. The 
same formation is seen along the banks of the river of Arta, a great 


part of the way to Metsovo ; often with a very contorted strati^ 
fication ; and interrupted at intervals by rocks of limestone of the 
same character as that formerly described, which come down in 
abrupt cliffs to the channel of the stream* This limestone probably 
forms the basis of all the country to the west of the river of Arta, and 
is the material also of the lower parts of the Pindus chain on its 
eastern side. The bed of the river, however, and the channels of 
the streams which join it from the east, contain fragments which 
prove that the more central parts of Pindus are composed in part 
of primitive formations. I observed fragments of sienite, porphyry, 
and serpentine ; a few of mica slate, and others of a conglomerate 
rock, chiefly composed of primitive fragments^ I did not see any 
granite, but a very great abundance of fragments of jasper, green, 
red, yellow, and of otlier shades of colour. The general aspect of the 
mountains about Metzovo has a good deal the character belonging to 
a primitive slate country, but I did not observe any direct evidence 
of .this ; the lower part of their declivities in the vallies being covered 
with limestone rocks or shale. 

Our Tartar had rode before us into Metzovo, to fix upon a place 
for our night^s lodging. He carried with liim the Vizier's written 
mandate ; and when we arrived, we found him examining differ^it 
houses, to ascertain which was the best. With or against the will 
of the inhabitants, he opened the doors, entered the different apart* 
ments, and was absolute and authoritative in all his motions. In-> 
ten^ng to cross the ridge of Pindus the following morning, it was 
more convenient that we should pass the night in that part of 
Metzovo which lies on the eastern side of the valley. The houses 
here are for the most part small and ill-constructed, and there was 
some difiiculty in finding any which promised a tolerable degree of 
comfort. In that which was finally chosen for us, the inhabitants 
i^ewed at first some apprehension; they soon, however, became 
reconciled to us, and an hour after our arrival, half a dozen persons 
were assembled at the door of our apartment, watching each motion 
that we made with the most eager curiosity. In the evening, one 


of the sourudzes^ who had the charge of our horses in the journey, 
was brought to me to obtain medical advice. On examination, I 
found that he had so much fever, as to render it impossible that he 
should proceed, and it was decided that he should •remain at 
Metzovo, until able to return to loannina. 

We recommenced bur journey at an early hour on the 17th, and ac- 
complished in the course of this day a journey of ten hours, or from 
30 to 34 miles; by a route the most interesting we had yet travelled in 
this country. The first and principal point in the journey was the 
passage of Pindus. We had been strongly advised to take with us 
from Metzovo, some peasants acquainted with the route, to assist our 
progress over the mountains, and our Tartar had engaged three or 
four people for this purpose/ They did not, however, arrive at the 
appointed time, and the weather had.fortunately now become so clear 
and serene, that we ventured upon our journey without this assist- 
ance; accompanied as the day before, by severaKmen on horseback, 
who were travelling from Albania into Thessaly. That part of the 
ridge of Pindus which we had now to cross, is directly opposite to 
the face of the hill on which Metzovo stands, and intervenes be- 
tween the sources of the river of Arta, and of the Salympria or 
Peneus« The comparative facility of ascent, afforded by the vallies 
of the torrents which form these rivers, has led to the choice of this 
place of passage; where the elevation of the chain also is less than 
in those parts of it further to the souths Opposite Metzovo, a 
mountain-stream forms a deep hollow to the very base of the summit 
ridge, and along this steep and rugged channel, the road, or rather 
track, is continued for two or three miles. While pursuing slowly 
this part of the route, we met a large train of Albanian soldiers, who, 
though the day was still little advanced, had already crossed the ridge 
of Pindus, from a Khan on the eastern side. Where we quitted this 
channel, it seemed as if the further progress of the ascent were 
utterly impracticable, and we looked upwards with astonishment 
at an impending promontory of rock, which at this time was nearly 
1000 feet above us, but which the Tartar explained ;to be one point 


in our route to the summit of the mountain. Our ascent thither was 
rendered possible only by long detours, to avoid the numerous preci- 
pices which appeared on each side of our tract ; yet notwithstanding 
this circuitous direction of the road, the declivity was such, that we 
had much difficulty in urging our horses to continue their progress 
forwards. In winter, this part of the passage of the mountain is 
often wholly impracticable; and even when there is only a small 
quantity of snow on the ridge, the ascent becomes so dangerous, 
that guides are necessary to the security of the traveller. A violent 
wind is almost equally dreaded in traversing these lofty regions: 
sweeping through the deep hollows and recesses of the mountain, 
it forms whirlwinds so strong and impetuous, that the passage, ev^i 
if possible, becomes extremely dangerous* We were fortunate in 
avoiding both these difficulties. The day was perfectly calm, and 
the snow, lying only in the clefts of the mountain, in no degree im- 
peded our progress. Even at the summit of the ridge, a httle after 
9 o'clock, the thermometer did not fall below 34"^ ; and we suffered no 
inconv^iience in remaining some time on this elevated point, to 
gaze on the extraordinary scene around us. 

A ridge it may indeed be called, to which a laborious ascent of 
two hours from Metzovo had conducted us. The summit where we 
crossed it, is scarcely a yard in width, and the same wedge-like fbrtn 
of this vast mountain-chain appears to be continued far towards the 
north. At this point, even the general calmness of the day did not 
exempt us from a strong wind, which, when increased in degree, 
renders the passage extremely difficult. The inspiration of Apollo 
and the Muses, the deities of Pindus, must be powerful indeed, which 
could produce a stanza in this spot on a winter's day ; yet the view 
hence might well suggest the subject of a thousand. The plains of 
the ancient Thessaly lie expanded in the landscape before you; 
The Peneus of Tempe, a river well known to poetic lore, issues in 
mountain-streams from the rocks below your feet. Its beautiful 
vallies, luxuriant in the foliage of woods ; picturesque, or even sub- 
lime, in the hills which form the boundary, may be traced league 


n£ta league, into the distant landscape. * Beyond litis, a succession^ 
of mountains and plains conduct the eye, in the remote distance, to 
the ever memorable Olympus; now, as in ancient times, covered 
with snows, which even the summer's sun of these climates does not 
^tirely remove. Other heights appeared to the south of this great 
mountain, which, from their situation, we supposed to be Ossa and 
Pelion; and with respect to the former at least, the conjecture wa» 
founded in fact. With some earnestness we sought to discover the 
coast of the Archipelago, and the outline of the sea; but if they are 
actually to be seen from this remote point, the state of the sky, which 
in the horizon was covered with fleecy clouds^ prevented us from 
obtaining this part of the view*. The chain of Pindus itself was not 
the least remarkable object in the landscape ; having a strength and 
majesty of outline, which cannot easily be surpassed in naountain^p 
seenery ; its narrow ridges to the north of the spot wh^e we stood, 
covered with woods of pine even to their summits; to the souths 
rising into much greater heights, which were deeply covered with 
snow; these heights forming the great mountains which intervene 
between the sources of the Achelous and the river of Arta. I should 
hesitate even in giving a very general surmise of the elevation of this 
lofly summit above the sea, as I have no barrometical observations 
on which to found a statement ; and from the character of the moun«* 
tains which form the loftiest points of the Pindus chain, it would, I 
conceive, be exceedingly difficult to obtain such observations, even at 
a more favourable period of the year. Taking the height of Met- 
zovo, at from 2,500 to 3000 feet, it would probably make the 
elevation of the chain where we crossed it, to be more th^n 4,500 ; 
and, judging from the level of the same line, I should imagine there 
would be no exaggeration in considering the summits which appear 
to the south, to be at least 2000, some of them probably 2,500 feet 
liigher. But any estimate of this kind, as I have just slated, must 

* Polybius mentioiis a mountain in this country, from which it is possible to see botl^ 

P F 


be received with much caution, as the sources of deception are nurne^ 
rous in such cases. . 

The upper ridge of Pindus, where we traversed it, appears to be 
composed entirely of serpentine, which will immediately attract the 
attention of the traveller by its peculiarity of appearance. I first 
noticed this rock in quitting the direct valley of the stream, wiiich we 
followed in the first part of our ascent from Metzovo. Near the 
summit, where the vegetation became very scanty, its exposed and 
glassy surface reflected the light of the sun, so as to produce a very 
remarkable and even brilliant effect. I did not observe any appear- 
ances of stratification ; the rock shewing itself to the eye in rude 
amorphous peaks and masses. At the summit of the ridge, the road 
is carried between two elevations of this kind, which in some degree 
shelter the traveller in passing oyer this narrow pinnacle of. moun- 
tain. This serpentine is perfectly distinct in its characters. It has a 
blackish green colour, which is pretty uniform throughout its sub- 
stance, and mixed with very httle red. The lustre is resinous, dull 
internally, externally glistening. The exposed surfaces of the rock 
are every-where covered with yellowish g^een steatite, generally dis- 
posed in a sort of scales upon the serpentine; a circumstance add- 
ing to the singularity before noticed in the appearance of the rock. 
Of the extent of this serpentine formation in the chain of Pindus, I 
am unable to speak ; but from the external character of the moun- 
tains, and the fragments I found in the valley of the river of Arta, I 
should conceive it likely that it may occupy various points in the 
summit of the chain; probably reposing in these unconformable 
masses upon some of the primitive slate rocks. 

Before carrying the reader with me into the vale of the Peneus, 
and the plains of Thessaly, I must be allowed a few words respecting 
the geography of the Pindus chain, as well ancient as modern. I 
cannot expect indeed to afford much that is new or important on thi^ 
subject ; but even minute additions to our geographical knowledge 
have a certain value which may excuse their introduction into the 
narrative of the traveller. 


The gre^t chain of mountains, of which a part was called Pindus, 
forms a central line of elevation throughout the south of Turkey ; and 
for about a hundred miles is nearly equi* distant from the eastern and 
western coasts of this peninsula. To form the simplest idea of its 
general outline, it may be considered to arise from the shores of the 
gulph of Corinth, by the chain which formerly had the names of 
Parnassus, Corax, &c. and from the Maliac Gulph at Thermopylae 
by the chain of Mount Oeta. These two ranges are united in the 
region of the ancient Doris, and from their union the central chain of 
Pindiis is continued in a north or north-north-east direction, gradually 
inclining towards the coast of the Adriatic, and giving off various 
collateral ranges of mountains, particularly on its western side. In 
applying the name of Pindus to this central ridge, I do so merely for 
the convenience of description, as no part of the chain now bears this 
name, and even by the ancients it seems to have been applied only 
to one portion of its extent. The modern appeUation3 of the different 
mountains composing it, have no evident relation to the names or 
divisions of ancient geography, and do not themselves appear to be 
determined with great accuracy. I need mention only a few of th0 
more remarka,ble points in that part of the chain which is more 
immediately connected with the modem Albania. 

At some distance from the upper extremity of the gulph of Arta 
is the ridge of Makronoros, or the Long Mountain. To the north of 
this rises the vast and apparently insulated mountain-mass of Tzu-* 
merka« and still loflier hills raise themselves to the north-east and 
north of this, forming the eastern barrier to the valley of the river of 
Arta, and stretching thence backwards to the valley of the Aspro- 
potamo. These mountains, which in the view from loannina, fill up 
in the distance the interval between Tzumerka and Metzoukel, and 
which we had seen fronting us when descending to the river of Arta, 
are commonly known by the name of Agrafa. The mountains of 
Zagora, and the Greater Metzovo, as that part of the molmtains is 
often called, which the road ascends and traverses into Thessaly, may 
be considered to form anpth^ part of the chain farther to the north, 

rw 2 


Beyond MeVzovo, in the same direction, is the ridge of Mavronorbs^ 
or the Black Mountain ; and successively yet further to the north the 
mountains of Tzebel and Samarina, which I have not myself seen, 
but conceive from the information of others to be among the most 
elevated points in Albania. The chain still continues its progress 
northwards, passing near Ochrida, dividing the ancient Illyricum and 
Macedonia ; gives origin to many large rivers, and extends itself even 
into the northern provinces of the Turkish empire. 

Etom Livy, Strabo, Polybius, Pliny, and other writers, we derive 
many facts regarding the ancient divisions of these mountains, and 
particularly of that part of the chain which formed the barrier be- 
tween Epirus and Thessaly. There are, however, several circum- 
stances in this geography , which . it is difficult entirely to understand. 
The name of Pindus seems to have been applied without much pre- 
cision, sometimes to a considerable extent of the chain just described, 
occasionally only to a particular mountain, or groupe of mountains j 
'' either forming a part of the division between Epirus and Thessaly, or, 
as Strabo says, in the passage given below, belonging to Thessaly 
itself*. Much of the difficulty here arises from the uncertainty of 
the ancient geographical divisions in this part of Greece. The limits 
of the greater divisions of Illyricum, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, 
Acarnania, and ^tolia, are indistinct, and differently assigned ^by 
different writers ; and the subdivisions of these states, as might be 
expected, are yet more obscure. We may account for this circum- 
stance, partly by considering the frequent changes which war and 
conquest effected in the boundaries of those countries ; partly by a 
reference to the fact, that the chain of Pindus, and its collateral 
mountains, were inhabited by many distinct tribes, some of them of 
migratory character, and all of them, probably, undefined in the 
limits of the territory on which they dwelt. Accordingly we find that 

1^1^— B^pfc^^^^^^^i^^^i^W^B^^^M^— a^^^^— "^^ii^i^i^^— ^ ■■■ ■■■■■■■■ II ■■ ., , .p ■ < ■■ 


^ fitrabo, describing Pindus, (lib. ix.) says, *H Se ITivSo^ o^o; \^^^ vg<^$ a^xrov /ttcv n^y 


these intricacies in the ancient geography of the t^oujitry, ocpur chiefly 
in those districts which are traversed by the great Pindus chain ; and 
that elsewhere, if ignorant, we are at least less perplexed by the multi- 
tude of names, and indistinctness of localities. 

From the description of Strabo, there seems reason to believe that the 
name of Pindus was particularly applied to the mountains now known 
by the name <5f the Greater Metzovo, — the grqupe of lofty heights, 
which has been already described as stretching upwards to the sources 
of the river of Arta near Metzovo, and forming there the ridge which 
we traversed in our journey from Albania into Thessajy. The 
evidences of this opinion are briefly given' in the subjoined .*note. 
One of the principal summits in this groupe of mountains is that I 
have mentioned, intervening between the sources of the Adielous, the 
AJCacthus, and the Peneus ; and froQi this peculiar situation, furni^^ 
ing a further indirect proof that this was the Pindus of antiquity. 
Considering it then as $uch, we may presume with probability that 
the tribe of the Perrhaebii occupied the country about Metzovo, and 
the upper part of the valley of the river of Arta ; and that their three 
cities, Azorus, DoUche, and Pythium, were situated in this district. 
Homer mentions the Perrheebiias inhabiting the country around 

^ Strabo, in the passage already quoted, says tliat Pindus has Macedonia to the north, 
the Perr^iaebii to the west, and Dolopia to the south, — a description which corresponds with 
the situation of the mountains in front of Metzovo, relatively to these several districts. 
Tbucydides (lib. ii.), in describing the course of the Adielous, says, 'O Ap^f^of wreifMs 
pw¥ Ix IliyStf dgtff hot, A«Aocria;, &c It has before been mentioned that this river rises at no 
great distance from Metzovo; and from this passage, therefore, we have a direct testimony 
that these mountains had the particular name of Pindus, and a confirmation to the former 
passage of Strabo, regarding the relative situation of Pindus and Dolopia. — Strabo, in 
another part of his seventh book, mentions a dispute between the Tjnnphasans and the 
Thessalians, living under Pindus, in which of their districts were the fountains of the 
Peneus. Now the two mountain-torrents, from which the Peneus is formed, rise at no 
very great distance from eadi other, and one of them from the mountains which I suppose 
to be particularly d^ioted by the name of Pindus. Mount Tympha or Stympha, where is 
the other source of the Peneus, cannot be far distant from Metzovo, as Strabo describes 
the Aracthus to arise fi*om the mountain Stympha and Paroreia. 


Podona, in which cade (if I have rightly speculated upon the situation 
of the Oracle) we must suppose them to have extended as far down 
the valley as the vicinity of Tzumerka ; but, even acknowledging all 
the accuracy of Homer's geography, we are not to seek from him 
information thus minute, where the subject of his poem is not im- 
mediately concerned. 

To the south of Perrhaebia, and perhaps including a part of it, 
was Molossia, a small and mountainous region, yet esteemed one 
of the principal divisions of Epirus, and its inhabitants among 
the most ancient and noble of the country. As the Molossi touched 
upon the coast, near the higher extremity of the gulph of Ambracia *, 
we may consider that nearly the whole western side of the Findus 
chain, from opposite the gulph to the vicinity of Metzovo, was 
occupied by this people and tlie Perrhaebii. Regarding the Selloi and 
Hellopes as subordinate tribes of the Molossi, inhabiting the vallies 
of the mountainous country between Dodona and the -fAchelous, 
we find in the valley of the latter river, as it passes through the moun- 
tains, three different districts, Dolopia, Agraea, and J Amphilochia ; 
the first, as was before mentioned, situated near the sources of the 
river under Pindus ; Agraea, a part of the valley further to the south ; 
and Amphilochia, the district through which the Achelous flows to 
the eastward of the gulph of Arta, and which is generally con- 
sidered as belonging to Acamania, though by some writers placed 

in Epirus, 

The other tribes of people, who anciently inhabited the chain of 
Pindus, were the Athamanes, ^thices, Tymphaei, Orestae, Paroraei, 
&c. Strabo, who enumerates these tribes, speaks of them as in- 

• See Perip. Scylac 

t See Strabo, lib.i, Ari$tot MetcoroL L 14. 

± See Thucyd. lib. ii. Ptolemy speaks of the Dolopes as inhabiting the country aboTt 
.the Cassiopiei ; but the limits of Cassiopasa, a r^ion in the interior of the Epirus, are 
80 vaguely defined, that this expression adds little to our local relative knowlege. FVom 
livy (lib.xx3cvi. 33.) we may infer that the Perrhaebii and Dolopes a^oined each other^ 
which accords with the situation 1 have assigned to these tribes. 


habiting the high and rugged country above, or to the north of 
Amphilochia ; and the order in which he mentions them, affords some 
idea of their relative situation. The Athamanes probably possessed 
the country between the Dolopes on theAchelous, and the upper 
part of the river Peneus*. The ^thices, who Homer says were 
the Centaurs expelled by Pirithous from Thessaly, must have been 
situated somewhat further to the north. The Tymphaei occupied the 
vicinity of Mount Tympha, or Stympha, which mountain, as it gave 
rise to the river Aracthus, was one of those near Metzovo ; and the 
Orestae and Paroraei were probably situated in the same district, since 
i^e Aracthus is said to have had its sources also among the latter 
people-f-. Perhaps as two sources of this river are mentioQed by 
Strabo, we may suppose that he alludes to the two branches, which 
unite near the Khan of Balduni ; in which case, it may be presumed 
that the Orestae and Paroraei inhabited the mountainous region now 
called Zagora, a district which I have already described. The only 
reason I know against this idea, and that one of little weight, is, that 
Livy appears to have described the mountains of Zagora under the 
name of Lingon, in narrating the retreat of the last PhiUp of Macedon 
from EpirusJ, I do not find the name of Lingon in any other 
author ; but it is nevertheless possible that it may have been applied 
to the mountains, on which dwelt the two tribes just mentioned. 

* Ptdemy speaks of the Athamanes as being to the east of Amj^ilochia ; and this 
position accords sufficiently well with that supposed above. 

f Callimachus, in his hyi^n to Diana, praises the Boeg Tvfufeuie^ ; the cattle belonging 
to this district of Tymphaea. 

X Inde (ex Triphylia Melotidis) postero die ingenti itinere agminis, in montem Lingon 
perrexit. Ipsi montes Epiri sunt : inteijecti Macedoniaei Thessaiiseque : latus quod vergit 
in Thessaliam oriens spectat : septentrio a Macedonia objicitur. Vestiti frequentibus silvis 
sunt : jugasumma campos patentes, aquasqueperennes habent Lib. xxxii. cap. 13.— This 
description perfectly applies to Zagora, both as respects the character of the mountain^, 
and the previous march of Philip's army. I find that Mr, Hobhou^ adoptii the same 
opinion as to the Mount Lingon of Livy. See his Travels, p. 6i. 




The Atintanes, a people mentioned by Strabo, Lrvy, and Polybius^ 
appear to have inhabited a part of the chain of mountains further 
to the north, on the -borders of Chaonia ; and from a passage in the 
last author, I think it probable that the district of Atintania was 
among that groupe of mountains now called Nimertzka, which will 
be mentioned when I speak of my second journey in Albania* 
Eordaea, Elimiotis, and Lyncestis were other mountainous tracts in 
the same chain, generally included in Macedonia ; but, as it appears 
from Livy and Arrian, adjoining the Atintanes, Tymphaei, and 
Perorsei*- All these people, according to Livy, inhabited a cold 
and rugged ' country, and were themselves warlike and ferocious in 
their habits of life. We are less minutely acquainted with the ancient 
geography of these mountains frirther to the north ; but the names 
of Candavia, Mount Scordus, &c. evidently belong to the same great 
chain, as it extends itself in this direction betw^n the ancient Illyria 
and Macedonia. 

Several circumstances in Grecian and Roman history are illustrated 
by the geography of the mountains of Pindus. The passage in which 
Arrian describes the march of Alexander from Illyria into Thessftly, 
renders it probable that he made the passage over Pindus by the 
Metzovo route, which has already been described; descending after* 
wards along the vale of the Peneus to Pellina -f*. Julius Csesar appears 
to have crossed the mountains precisely at the same place, when 
marching with his army into Thessaly, to revenge at Pharsalia the 
repulse he had sustained at Dyrrhachium. In the wars between the 
last Philip of Macedon and the Romans, in which the ^tolians, the 

* Strabo, lib.yii. Livy, lib. xlv. cap. 30. — Polybius says that the Epirotes, vanquished 
by the Illyrians, near Antigonia, fled towards the Atintanes. 

f Livy, lib. xlv. 30. 'Ayeov it wofa ti]v Eo^amv n xm njy EXuftia^riv, xen wofu ra nj^ 
^TVftfflua^ xa4 Il»f¥eua$ ixfo^ ijSSofMCio; i^ixvureu A^ FlEAAijyijv n]; OtrlaXictf. Arrian. 
£xp. AleXi lib. i, — It is probable that the districts of Eordaea and Lyncestis extended a 
considerable way northwards, as Strabo mentions that the Via Ignatia passed throng 
them,— the great road from Apollonia an the Adriatic to Thessalonica, 


Epirotes, tbe Athamahes, &c. were likewise engaged, the region of 
Pindus was a frequent scene of contest* After the defeat which 
Phihp sustained from T. Q. Flaminius, in the passes of the river 
Aous in Epirus, he fled with the remainder of his army over Mount 
Lingon into Thessaly, followed soon afterwards by the Consul, who 
took several strong towns situated under Pindus, and in the course of 
the Peneus. At a later period, Philip, now become the ally of die 
Romans against Antiochus, entered the same country ; and took 
possession of the different fortresses in Athamania and Perrhaebia, a 
circumstance which was afterwards severely reprehended at Rome. 
In the war between the Romans and Perseus the son of Philip, 
P.Licinius carried his army from Epirus into Thessaly, over the 
chain of the Pindus and through Athamania ; the difficulties of this 
march Livy describes to be such, that had the Macedonian king 
exposed two hundred men to the Roman Consul at certain points ijQ 
his route, the destruction would have been exceedingly great. This 
will be easily conceived by all who have traversed the ridge of Met- 
zovo, an Alpine passage, that is difficult even to the traveller, and to 
an army must be formidable in the extreme.* 

To look back into yet more ancient history regarding the moun- 
tains of Pindus, we find that in some of their deep vallies and 
recesses dwelt the earliest settlers in Greece ; and around the sacred 
temple of Dodona were the vestiges of that people and of those 
traditions which form the commencement of a history that will ever 
be venerable to posterity. 

The present, as well as the ancient, population of this chain of 
mountains, is variously composed; and Greeks, Albanians, and 
"Wallachians are all found in different towns and villages, which are 
scattered through its vallies and on the declivities of its hills. The last 
liave already been noticed in speaking of Zagora, Kalarites, and Met- 
20V0 ; and they occupy various other flourishing towns in this line of 
elevated country, forming in fact the most interesting and important 


* Livy, lib.x]ii. cap. 55. 
G G 



part of its population. They are descended from those wandering 
tribes of Wallachians, who, as we find from the Byzantine historians*, 
migrated southwards about the eleventh and twelfth centuries, from 
the districts near the Danube, into Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly, 
forming settlements in the mountainous regions of these countries, 
partly from the greater security they here obtained, partly from the 
accorda.nce of this situation with their ancient habits as shepherds. 
This insulation, and mode of life, have tended to preserve them in great 
measure separated as a people; and the Wallachian towns and 
villages of Pindus, which are very numerous in those parts of the 
chain between Albania and Thessaly, have all a distinct character, 
which probably has continued for centuries. The Vlaki are a hardy 
and active people, more regular and less ferocious in their habits than 
theAlbanians,to whom they are not alHed in their origin, and but little 
as it appears in later connection. Their employment as shepherds 
in these mountainous tracts has already been noticed* The more con- 
siderable Wallachian .towns are generally engaged in the woollen 
manufacture of the country, or in some branch of overland commerce ; 
and their inhabitants are in much repute as among the best artizans 
of Greece. It may further be remarked, that there is an air of active 
industry, neatness, and good order in these towns, which, while it 
distinguishes them from all others in the south of Turkey, affords a 
singular contrast to the wild and rugged scenery by which they are 

"* Niccftas, in AnnaL Alex. Comnen. et Baldwin. Pachjmer in Hist. Andron., Anna 
Comnena, &€. 

( 227 ) 






T TAVING enjoyed for some time the magnificent view from the 
^ -^ . summit of Pindus, we began our descent towards the valley of 
ihe'Salympria, or Peneus, which lies at its feet« Oh this side of the 
ridge the declivity is more gradual, formed by succesave shelves of 
mountain, the more elevated of which are covered with pines, diose 
lower down with beeches, plane trees, &c. At a short distance below 
the summit, the road passes a solitary building, called the Zygo- 
Khan, or Khan of the Ridge, sheltered in some degree from the iticle* 
mencies of its situation by the woods which surround it. In descend^ 
ing as well as in ascending the mountain, we met numwous caval- 
cades of horses, some of them attended by Tartars, others by Albanian 
soldiers or peasants, pursumg their journey from Thessaly into 
Albania. The number of horses we passed in the course of our day's 
journey might probably exceed four hundred; the greater part of 
them loaded with grain or cotton from the plains of Thessaly, or with 
coarse woollen cloths manufactured in the same country. This over-^ 
land traffic is carried on with great regularity, and forms one method 
by which the people of Thessaly dispose of the exuberant produce of 
their fertile country. 

Having descended two hours by a winding path, through woods 
and along the ridges of the mountain, we arrived at the Khan of 
Malakassi, situated near the confluence of the two streams which 
unite to form the Salympria, and probably at no great distance from 

G G 2 


the site of the ancient ^ginium. Just above the Khan a singular 
insulated peak of serpentine rises abruptly from the surface, having 
the same vitreous aspect as the rocks near the summit of Pindus, and 
so remarkably broken and rugged as to resemble one of the streams 
of obsidian in the Lipari Isles. On the steep ascent of a mountain 
above the northern branch of the Salympria, stands the town of 
Malakassi ; the buildings of which, probably about 500 in number, 
are scattered over a wide surface, and interspersed with trees like 
those of Metzovo. The population is Wallachian; and occupied 
chiefly as shepherds among the neighbouring mountains, or in the 
culture of the valley below the town. At the Khan we stopped a 
short time, while the Tartar, and our other companions, made their 
noon-day meal. Even when travelling, these people seldom eat 
any thing till 11 or 12 o'clock; following in this the common 
habits of the country, which makes a cup of coffee the only repast 
of the morning, both to the Turkish and Greek inhabitants. Our 
Tartar very scrupulously abstained from wine, and when interrogated 
on the subject, simply remarked that he was a good Mussulman, and 
had nothing to do with it. 

The valley of Salympria became each moment more interesting, 
as we continued our journey down the river. The scenery is on a 
large scale, but without any harshness of feature. The mountains 
forming the boundary of the valley, rise to a great heiglit, but for 
the most part they are richly wooded, occasionally even to their 
summits. The valley itself is covered with a profusion of foliage^ 
much of it being that of the plane-tree, which is extremely luxuriant 
in its growth, and takes a rich autumnal tint. The channel of the 
river is occasionally confined by precipitous cliffs, but more generally 
spread out into a wide bed ; or diverging so as to inclose an insulated 
groupe of trees, or an island thicket, the effect of which, in this 
situation, is highly picturesque and pleasing. During the floods of 
winter, the breadth of the river, thus divided into various channels, 
must oflen exceed a quarter of a mile ; but* at this time the stream 
scarcely occupied a tenth part of its bed ; and we shortened our route 



in many places, by traversing its gravelly bottom, among the water- 
worn fragments of a rock, which mark its winter's course. At the 
distance of three hours journey from Malakassi, we arrived at a Khan 
situated on the right bank of the Salympria, and two or three miles 
beyond, this place crossed the valley of a considerable river, de- 
scending into the Salympria from the west. The large town of 
Klinovo, I believe to be situated in this valley, inhabited by 
descendants of the Wallachian tribes of Pindus ; as is the case also 
with the people of many of the villages in the upper part of the 
course of the Aspropotamo. The mountains here increase in height, 
presenting broad and precipitous fronts on each side of the valley, 
and still luxuriantly covered with wo6d. Looking upwards along 
the course of this river^ we saw in the distance some of the central 


heights of the Pindus chain, deeply covered with snow. Its source 
is probably at no great distance from the Aspropotamo ; the moun- 
tains just ijfientioned forming a barrier between the latter river and 
the valley of the Salympria. 

The country through which we had been passing, from the ridge 
of Pindus to this place, was that called by the antients, Athamania; 
the people of which district occasionally bore an important part in 
the wars between the Romans and the later kings of Macedon*, 
Of Argithea, (which is described as the principal place in Athamania,) 
of Heraclea, Tetraphylia, and the other towns in this region, I am 
not aware that any vestiges now remain ; except, doubtless, those 
rocky fortresses of nature, which enabled the Athamanes to rescue 
themselves from slavery, and successfully to oppose the efforts of 
Philip again to reduce them to obedience. Neither can I assign 
^ith certainty the situation of Gomphi, a city which was repeatedly 
the subject of contest in the wars just alluded to ; and which Julius 
Caesar took by scaling the walls, when marching from Epirus into 

* Strabo, indeed, seems to consider the Athamanes, as among the Epirote tribes, and 
Stephanns speaks of Athamania as a oomitry of IByria; but this diversity is easily ex- 
plained by the circumstances mentioned in the foregoing chapter. 



Tbessaly , bdbre the battle of Pharsalia * ; there is reason to believe,, 
however, that it was on the right bank of the Peneus, and probably 
not very far distant from the confluence of the river descending from 
Klinovo. I do not find in the ancient writers any distinct reference 
to the latter stream. The Ion, mentioned by Strabo, as flowing into 
the Peneus, appears to be rather the most northerly of Che twa 
branches which were before mentioned,-, as uniting near the Khan of 
Malakassi to form the Salympria -f. M. d'Anville adopts this^ 
idea ; though it must be remarked, that his delineation of this part 
of the Grecian continent is extremely obscure, owing to the defi- 
ciency of modern information respecting its geography. 

From the banks of the river of Klinovo to Kalabaka, where we 
proposed to pass the night, is a distance of about five miles. The 
road in this part of the way is extremely good, but not entirely 
without danger from robbers, who, availing themselves of the woods, 
which line the banks of the Salympria, occasionally interrupt the 
traveller in his route. In one spot, where a range of woody 
eminences comes down to the river, our Tartar urged us forwards on 
a hard trot for nearly two miles, this place being particularly the 
resort of a banditti ; and the time of the day favourable to any 
enterprize against us. A Khan, which was pointed out to us by the 
road side, half destroyed by fire, bore a melancholy testimony to the 
manner in which these ravages are committed. The strong arm of 
Ali Pasha is probably less effective on this side of Pindus ; but 
nevertheless, under his government, the situation of banditti is so 
desperate, that plunder and death most generally go together. 

* Hi^. Bell. Civil. lib. liL Coesar, who gave up Gompbi to be sacked by his soldiers, 
calls it, oppidum plenum atque cpuleniumj and describes it as the first town in Hiessaly to 
those coming firom Epinis. See also Liv. lib. xxxi. c 41. and lib. xxxviiL c 2. Godiphi 
was situated in that district of Tliessaly, called Estiasotis. 

t Strabo (lib. vii.) speaks of .^Iginium as near the river Ion, and elsewhere mentions 
the same place as being ofi^fov Tu/t^aMnr, adyoining the Tymphaei; from which it may be 
inferred, that the Ion is one of the two branches forming the Peneus. 



Long before we reached the town of KaJabaka, our attention was 
engaged by the distant view of the extraordinary rocks of the Meteora, 
which give to the vicinity of this place, a character perfectly unique to 
the eye, and not less remarkable in the reality of the scene. These 
rocks are seen from a great distance in descending the valley of the 
Saly mpria ; but it was not until we had forded over to the left bank 
of the river, a short distance above Kalabaka, that we became aware 
of all the sin^larity of their situation and character. On this side 
of the Salympria, and about a mile distant from the river, they rise 
from the comparatively flat surface of the valley ; a groupe of insu- 
lated masses, «)nes, and pillars of rock, of great height, and for the 
most part so perpendicular in their ascent, that each one of their 
numerous fronts seems to the eye as a vast wall, formed rather by 
the art of man, than by the more varied and irregular workings of 
nature. In the deep and winding recesses which form the intervals 
between these lofty pinnacles, the thick foliage of trees gives a shade 
and colouring, which, while they enhance the contrast, do not 
diminish the effect of the great masses of naked rock impending 
above. When we approached this spot, the evening was already 
far advanced, but the setting sun still threw a gleam of light on the 
summits of these rocky pyramids, and shewed us the outline of 
several Greek monasteries in this extraordinary situation, and seem- 
ing as if entirely separated from the reach of the world below. For 
the moment the delusion might have been extended to the moral 
character of these institutions, and the fancy might have framed to 
itself a purer form of religion amidst this insulated magnificence of 
nature, than when contaminated by a worldly intercourse and 
admixture. How completely this is delusion, it requires but a hasty 
reference to the present and past histpry of mdnastic worship^ suf. 
^ciently to prove. It is the splendour of nature alone, which is seen 
in the rocks of Meteora; and the light of the sun lingering on their 
heights, shews only those monimients of mingled vanity and super- 
stition, which have arisen from the devices of selfish policy, or of 
anistaken religion. 


The small town of Kalabaka*, containing about 200 houses, is 
situated immediately below the loftiest of these singular pinnacles 
of Fock, which seems absolutely to impend over the plaoe and its 
inhabitants. The largest building in the town, and the only x>ne of 
tolerable appearance, is a house belonging to Veli Pasha. Into this 
we could not obtain admittance, but our Tartar, who galloped for- 
wards from the pass where there had been apprehension of robbers, 
procured an apartment for us in the habitation of a Greek family, 
which appeared to be among the best in the place. Nevertheless 
our accommodation was simply that of bare walls and flooring, a 
small oil-lamp, and a wood fire on the hearth, which, as there was 
no chimney, soon filled the room with a cloud of smoke. Our hosts, 
as usual, were curious in their observation of us, and assembled 
many of their neighbours to partake in the spectacle. Soon after 
om* arrival, a young Greek came in, who announced himself as a 
grammatikosy or secretary of Veli Pasha, and offered his services t6 
us in any way that we might choose to accept them. We in con^ 
sequence began to interrogate him respecting the rocks and monas- 
teries of Meteora, as the object which then chiefly engaged our 
attention. The names of the different convents, and the number of 
monks inhabiting them, he gave us with much minuteness ; but when 
we asked the period of their erection, and were told by our gram-- 
matikos that it was coeval with the creation of the world, we 
desisted from further enquiry, and commissioned him to buy eggs 
and milk for our supper. Ex nitido fit ruckus. 

The following morning was occupied in a very interesting ex- 
cursion to these rocks and monasteries, which may unquestionably 
be regarded as a spectacle of an extraordinary and magnificent kind. 
The grbupe of rocks of Meteora is almost entirely insulated from the 
adjoining hills, and many of its parts are completely so. It is irregular 

* The Romaic name of this place is said to be Stagus, or l^tagi ; wd it therefore 
corresponds with the Stagos mentioned by the Byzantine writers. See loan. Cantacuz. 
Hist. lib. ii. 


in form and extent ; but generally speaking, the exterior line of the 
rocks may be said to form two sides of a triangle ; the angular point, 
which is the highest, opposed to the south-east, and rising immediately 
behind Kalabaka ; the base of the triangle being the hills, which 
stretch backwards into the country, from the valley of the Salympria. 
The extent of each side of this supposed figure may be somewhat 
more than two miles, though from the irregularity of the outline, it is 
difficult to speak of this with iany precision. The point above 
Kalabaka, the summit of which is ^n irregular cone, cannot be less 
than from four to five hundred feet in height. On the side of the 
town it rises apparently to two-thirds of this height, by a perpen- 
dicular plane of rock, so uniform in surface, that it seems as if artifi- 
cially formed : on the opposite side, the base of the rock falls even 
within the perpendicular line, and there is the same singular uni- 
formity of surface. The pinnacle is clothed with some brush-wood, 
but it is perfectly inaccessible from any point of approach. 

The most striking part of the scenery of Meteora is that to the 
north-west of this elevated point, and within the area of the supposed 
triangle. Following, for more than a mile, a narrow path, which 
conducted us below its precipitous front, and amidst other insulated 
masses of less considerable height, we entered one of the deep vallies 
or recesses, which lead to the interior of the groupe, and continued 
our progress along it, by a gradual ascent through the forest of wood 
which occupies this intervening space. On each side of us were 
lofty pinnacles of rock of the most extraordinary kind, some of them 
entirely conical, others single pillars of great height, and very small 
diameter ; other masses very nearly rhomboidal in form, and actually 
inclining over their base ; others again perfect squares or oblongs, 
with perpendicular sides, and level summits. Nor by the term 
masses^ are mere fragments of rock to be understood. It is the 
original mountain which is cleft and divided in this wonderful 
manner; by what agency it might be difficult to determine, but 
perhaps by the conjoint operation of earthquakes, and of that pro- 
gressive decay and detritus^ which proceed so perpetually and so 
extensively over the fac^ of the globe. The height of these insulated 

H H 


rocks is various. The greater uuinber rise more than a hundred feet 
from the level of the valley of the Salympria ; several reach the 
height of two and three hundred feet; and that of which I have 
already spoken, above Kalabaka, appears to exceed four hundred 
feet in height. 

The Greek monasteries of Meteora are variously situated, either on 
the summits of these pinnacles, or in caverns, which nature and art 
have united to form in parts of the rock, that seem inapproachable by 
the foot of man. Their situation, indeed, is more extraordinary than 
can be understood from description alone. Four of the monasteries 
actually occupy the whole summit of the insulated rocks on which 
they stand ; a perpendicular precipice descending from every side 
of the buildings into the deep-wooded hollows, which intervene 
between the heights. The only access to these aerial prisons is by 
ropes, or by ladders fixed firmly to the rock, in those places where 
its surface affords any points of suspension ; and these ladders, in 
some instances, connected with artificial subterranean tunnels, which 
give a passage of easier ascent to the buildings above. ^ The monas- 
tery called by distinction, the Meteora, which is the largest of the 
number, stands in the remarkable situation just described, and is 
accessible only in this method. Still more extraordinary is the 
position of another of these buildings, on the left hand of the approach 
to the former. It is situated on a narrow rectangular pillar of rock^ 
apparently about 120 feet in height ; the summit of which is so 
limited in extent, that the walls of the monastery seem on every 
side to have the same plane of elevation as the perpendicular faces of 
the rock. The monks whom vanity or superstition condemned to an 
abode in this place, might once perhaps have obtained something 
of that fame, which Simeon Stylites purchased for himself by a similar, 
yet more exalted degree of religious inflictions* : but these days and 

* Simeon Stylites obtained his name from a pillar, which he himself erected on a 
moimtain in Syria, of the height of sixty feet; on the summit of which he is said to have 
continued during years, as an act of religious devbtion ; expiring on the spot which had 
iboB long been the scene of his pious folly. 






opinions are gone by, and the wretched devotee of Meteora now 
procures little more than the pity or contempt of the world, upon 
which he looks down from his solitary and comfortless dwelling. 
The number of monasteries at Meteora is said to have been for- 
merly twenty-foui* ; but at present, owing partly to the wearing away 
of the rocks on which they stood, partly to the decay of the buildings 
themselves, only ten of these remain, of which the following are 
inhabited i — Meteora or Meteoron, Aios Stephanos, Barlaam, Aia 
Triada, Aios Nicholas, Rosaria, and Aia Mone. Aios Stephanos^ 
which we visited, is among the most extraordinary of the number ; 
its height is upwards of 180 feet. To arrive at the foot of the pinnacle 
on which it stands, we proceeded up the recess among the rocks by 
a steep and rugged path, winding underneath the foliage of the 
ancient trees which spread their roots among the vast masses detached 
from the rocks above. It is impossible to describe the character and 
variety of the scenwy which meets the eye at every moment in this 
route. Each turning of the path, each opening in the foliage^ dist 
closes a new picture, formed by the singular grouping of these 
insulated peaks, by the outline of the different monasteries on their 
summits, by the forest of wood underneath, and by the occasional 
breaks which give the more distant landscape to the view. Two points 
struck me particularly, one in which, looking back upon the broad 
and luxuriant valley of th« Salympria, and the noble mountain* 
scenery on the opposite side of this river,^ you have this landscape 
bounded to the eye on each side by the precipitous frx>nts of the 
Meteora rocks : the other, where the path conducts you through a 
defile, not more than twenty or thirty yards in width, between two 
rocks, each probably more than 300 feet in height, the intervening 
space filled up by trees and vast detached fragments. On the stunmit 
of one of these rocks stands the monastery, to which it was our 
intention to ascend. The greater monastery of Meteora is not more 
than a mile distant from it ; but this had already been visited by 
other travellers, and it was desirable to extend the survey of these 
curious establishments. 

H H 2 


Passing through the ravine just- mentioned, we wound roUnd the 
base of the rock, gradually ascending till we came to the foot of a 
perpendicular line of cliflf, and looking up saw the buildings of the 
monastery immediately above our heads. A small wooden shed 
projected beyond the plane of the cliff, from which a rope, passing 
over a pulley at the top, descended to the foot of the rock. Our 
Tartar shouted loudly to a man who looked down from above, 
ordering him to receive us into the monastery ; but at this time the 
monks were engaged in their chapel, and it was ten minutes before 
we could receive an answer to his order, and our request. At length 
we saw a thicker rope coming down from the pulley, and attached to 
the end of it a small rope net, which, we found, was intended for our 
conveyance to this aerial habitation. The net reached the ground ; 
our Tartar, and a peasant whom we had with us from Kalabaka, 
spread it open, covered the lower part with an Albanese capote, and 
my friend and I seated ourselves upon this slender vehicle. As we 
began to ascend, our weight drew close the upper aperture of the net, 


and we lay crouching together, scarcely able, and little willing, to stir 
either hand or foot. We rose with considerable rapidity ; and the 
projection of the shed and pulley beyond the line of the cliff was 
sufficient to secure us against injury from striking upon the rock. 
Yet the ascent had something in it that was formidable, and the 
impression it made was very different from that of the descent into a 
mine, where the depth is not seen, and the sides of the shaft give a 
sort of seeming security against danger. Here we were absolutely 
suspended in the air, our only support was the thin cordage of a net, 
and we were even ignorant of the machinery, whether secure or not, 
which was thus drawing us rapidly upwards. We finished the ascent, 
however, which is 156 feet, in safety, and in less than three minutes*. 
When opposite the door of the wooden shed, several monks and other 
people appeared, who dragged the net into the apartment, and 

* The passage through the air, at the monastery of Barlaam, is nearly 200 feet« 


released us from our. cramped and uncomfortable situation. We 
found, on looking round us, that these men had been employed in 
working the windlass, which raised us from the ground; and in 
observing some of their feeble and decayed figures, it was impossible 
to suppose that the danger of our ascent had been one of appear- 
ance alone. Our servant Demetrius, meanwhile, had been making a 
still more difficult progress upwards, by ladders fixed to the ledges of 
the rock, conducting to a subterranean passage, which opens out in 
the middle of the monastery. 

The monks received us with civility, and we remained with them 
more than an hour in their extraordinary habitation. The buildings 
are spread irregularly over the whole summit of the rock, enclosing 
two or three small areas : they have no splendour, either external or 
internal, and exhibit but the appearances of wretchedness and decay. 
Nevertheless the monks conducted us through every one of their 
dark and dilapidated rooms, and seemed to require a tribute of ^ 
admiration, which, though little due to the objects for which it was 
sought, might conscientiously be given to the magnificent natural 
scenery round and beneath their monastery. They led us on one 
side into a wooden gallery, supported by beams obliquely fixed in 
the rock, and projecting beyond the cliff, so as absolutely to impend 
oyer the deep ravine below. From this gallery we had a noble view 
of the great rock, on which stands the convent of Meteora ; we saw 
the same apparatus of ropes and pullies which had raised us to our 
present elevated situation ; and observed at the very moment that the 
monks were drawing up panniers of provisions from some loaded 
horses which stood at the foot of the cliff. Our hosts led us to an 
area on the opposite side pf their monastery, from which we looked 
downwards, through a sort of avenue of pinnacles of rock, upon the 
valley and stream of the Salympria, and saw in the distance the 
snow-covered summits of the Pindus chain. This area is probably 
about 300 feet above the level of the ground below ; but a narrow 
ledge on this side the monastery, thirty feet lower than the suipmit of 
the rock, affords the means of cultivating a few vegetables, and of 


collecting rain water for the use of the monks. We were afterwards 
conducted into the chapel, a small^ building, no otherwise remark- 
able than for those lawdry and tasteless ornaments which are so 
common in the Greek churches ; and of which, though now greatly 
decayed, our monks appeared not a little proud. I could observe 
no inscription, or other circumstance, which might furnish a proof of 
the exact time when the monastery was founded ; and my enquiries 
after * books and manuscripts, though made with some earnestness, 
and varied in different ways, were answered only by shewing me a 
few old volumes of Greek homilies, and some other pieces of eccle- 
siastical writing, which did not appear to have the smallest value. 
Whether this proceeded from apprehension that we might carry off 
their books, or froM their really possessing no others, I will not 
pretend to say ; but the latter is the more probable supposition*. 
There were only five monks, with a few attendants, resident in the 
monastery when we visited it; all of them miserable in their exterior, 
and with conceptions as narrow and confined as the rocks on which 
they live. We asked them if they knew when the convents of Meteora 
were founded : they were totally ignorant of the matter, and could 
only answer, noxx»w»Xaia um^ " they are very ancient,'^ an expression 
which was often repeated to us, in a manner that almost savoured of 
idiotcy. Even their insulated and almost inaccessible situation has 
not secured these poor people from plunder and outrage. The pro- 
perty belonging to the several monasteries is in the vallies ' below. 

* Biomstahl examined the libraries of four of the monasteries, but found nothing that 
was of very great importance. In that of Meteora was a manuscript containing some frag^ 
ments of Hesiod and Sophocles, but probably of recent date ; also some manuscripts of 
the New Testament, in which Biomstahl remarks that the text of the three witnesses is 
wanting. In the same library he discovered a Codex, with an account of a Jew, in the 
time of Justinian, who asserted that the name of Jesus Christ was to be found in the 
catalogue of the priests of the Temple at Jerusalem; which catalogue^ it is said, was 
saved and carried to Tiberias, when the Temple was destroyed. In the monastery of 
Barlaam are the works of many of the Greek Fathers, and various moiuscripts, but none 
of them possessing any considerable V9lue, 



and the inhabitants of a small village underneath their rocks supply 
food to these aerial habitations. The Albanian soldiers have fire* 
quently plundered this village ; and either depending on the mandate 
of their superiors, or on other less licensed means, occasionally compel 
an entrance into the monasteries themselves, the i^iiserable pro* 
prietors of which have little security against such acts of outrage. 
They pay annually a certain tribute to Ali Pasha, the amount of 
which I was not able to learn, but which i^ probably varied by his 
arbitrary will. 

Before quitting the monastery, we were conducted by the monks 
into their refectory, a dark room, without a single article of furniture, 
where a repast was set before us, consisting of a dish of rice cooked 
in oil; a Turkish dish composed of flour, eggs, and oil; bread, and 
thin wine. After making a hasty meal, and offering a compensation 
for the civility we had received, we bade farewell to the solitary 
tenants of this ex-mundane abode, were a second time slung in the 
net, and, after a safe and easy descent of about two minutes, found 
ourselves again at the foot of this vast rock, where our Tartar had 
been passing the interval in a. profound sleep. 

The plan of our journey did not allow us time to visit the greater 
monastery of Meteora, which, however, we should have done, had 
not previous examination rendered it almost certain that no inanu^ 
scripts of value exist here. The date of the erection of these monas- 
teries does not appear to be exactly known, aud it is perhaps most 
probable that they were not all founded at the same time, but at 
different periods, and by different persons. It is needful to suppose 
that at the lime when they were built,. the rocks must have been some- 
what less abrupt than at present, otherwise it is difficult to conceive 
the possibility of cominencing their structure, or even of reaching the 
places on which they stand. The Swedish traveller^Biornstahl, visited 
the monasteries of Meteora in 1779, and, remaining in this vicinity 
several weeks, had the opportunity of examining thenfi more accurately 
Aan has been done by any other traveller The origin of the monas- 
teries he fixes with seeming accuracy, either from written documents 


or the verbal information of their inhabitants : that of Meteora was 
founded in 1371, by John Palseologus, one of the Imperial family 
who took the name of Joasaph : the monastery of Barlaam appears 
to have been founded in 1536, by Nectarius of loannina, and anotlier 
Greek called Theophanes ; that of Aia Triada in 1476. One of the 
monasteries in its original establishment, by Maria, the sister of John 
Palaeologus, was intended for the reception of women alone ; but this 
female population gradually declined, and Was replaced by the other 
sex, till the institution became one entirely of monks. In this con- 
vent, however, as well as in that of Aios Stephanos, some women are 
still retained as a part of the household ; but the entrance of any 
female is rigidly forbidden by the regulations of Meteora, Barlaam, 
and others of these establishments. 

I* do not find any absolute proof that the rocks of Meteora were 
known to the ancients by the same peculiarities of form which now 
distinguish them ; and it is at least certain that the progress of time 
must have been making perpetual change in their appearances ; yet 
there are several allusions in ancient authors which seem to have 
reference to a place of this character. Thus Homer, in the catalogue 
of the Second Book, after mentioning Trikka, which is the modern 
Trikala, a town only twelve miles further down the valley than 
Meteora, speaks in the same line of I06;jtti7 jcX«feajco6(r<ra*, an expression 
perfectly applicable to these rocks, and the more so, as they are the 
first cliffs which occur in the valley above Trikala. Strabo mentions 
Ithome as in the district of Metropolis -f- ; and it being evident both 
from C»sar and Livy, that Metropolis was near Gomphi, and one 
of the first towns in Thessaly, to those coming firom Epirus, we 

f \ 

* Oi 8* hxpv Tgfxxijv, xa^ litojMiv KXtffutxoMxrav. 

Iliad, lib.ii. 236. 

f Lib. ix. Strabo speaks of a temple of Minerva at Ithome; by which temple flows the 
river Curalius, before it tenters the Peneus. Thei^ is a small stream near Kalabaka, 
which possibly may |be the Curalius here referred to. 



obtain a farther proof that the locality of Meteora corresponds with 
that of the Ithome of Homer. In the same place Strabo describes 
IthoAie as a place fortified by nature in its rocks and precipices*, 
and adds that it lies between the four towns of Trikka, Metropolis, 
Pelinnaeum, and Gomphi, as in a quadrilateral figure. These several 
circumstances concur in rendering it probable that the rocks of 
Meteora were anciently known by this name, and that they possessed 
even at that remote period something of their present extraordinary 

Livy, in his thirtieth book, describes an unsuccessful attack which 
Philip of Macedon made upon Argithea in Athamania, the local 
details of which description, in some respects, very strikingly corre- 
spond with the natural features of Meteora-f*. If we may suppose that 
Argithea and Metropohs were the same place, (and Livy elsewhere 
calls the former, the principal town of Athamania;) this description 
would add further to the proof, that Meteora is actually the Ithome 
of Homer and Strabo. Eustathius, in his commentary on the line 
of Homer already quoted, gives a description of the supposed 
Ithome, which resembles in every circumstance the modem character 
of Meteora J. The origin of the modem name, signifying what is 
lofty and elevated, may easily be understood. I should have nrare 
hesitation in stating the conjteture, that Gomphi may possibly have 
derived its name from yofi^oc^ claous, in allusion to the pillar-like form 
of some of the rocks of Ithome, which, in the relative situation of 
the two places, must have been striking objects from the former. 

The natural history of the Meteora rocks is as interesting to the mine- 
ralogist, as their picturesque scenery to the eye of the painter. They are 

* Xc0(ioy s^ci/tvoy km rn Jvri xAco/xoxofv. Lib. ix. 
f Livy, lib. xxxviiL c 2. • 

% Toiroi ^ Xo^i lurra ruf va}iMi$ ^4^Xoi* rgax'iou 8« atrrai xai «rtr^ffif avttSwrti^ tWt^ 
xaraxKBOO-ou rtff Si* atnaop fianfwrai* fvkarliTM 8f 1} Xfl^i^ «if tri xoi yvy, tt uou fjo^ aatfmfiftvf^ 

1 I 


composed entirely of a conlgomerate, the included fragments of which 
are for the most part of small size, and appear to belong almost exclu- 
sively to the class of primitive rocks. On examination, I found 
among these fragments, granite, both with red and white felspar, 
gneiss, mica slate, chlorite slate, sienite, greenstone, quartz pebbles, 
&c. most of these stones shewing the appearance of their having been 
water-worn, or otherwise subjected to attrition. The basis of the 
conglomerate seems to be merely the same fragments in a more com- 
minuted state; the rock, in its general mass, presenting to the eye a 
dark iron-grey shade of colour. In some of the perpendicular cliffs, 
the stratification of the conglomerate is verydistinctly and beautifully 
seen in their horizontal layers ; the best specimen of which Strati- 
fication is probably that in the great precipice behind Kalabaka. 
Another curious appearance of this rock occurs in the immediate 
vicinity of the town, (which itself stands upon the conglomerate form- 
ation,) and elsewhere along the foot of the clifi^s; the conglomerate 
rising above the surface in a series of low rounded eminences, some 
of them so. perfectly regular in their form, that they seem like 
the segments of great spheres, the masses of which are concealed 
below ground. The singularity of this appearance is increased by 
the eminences being entirely destitute of vegetation, and by the 
striking contrast their oDtline offers to the abrupt pinnacles which 
rise immediately above them. It is possible that at some former 
time they may have been the basis of similar masses of rock, which 
have been worn away in the progress of intervening ages. 

The summit peak of the rock behind Kalabaka, which I have 
already mentioned as the highest point of Meteora, is apparently 
composed of some other material than the conglomerate just de- 
scribed ; a circumstance which its position and form render obvious 
to the eye, even without the possibility of approach to this insulated 
pinnacle. Examining its appearances as minutely as was possible in 
so distant a view, I was led to think it probable that it might be one 
of the trap-rocks; a surmise which, if well-founded, would affbrd 
some interesting views on the subject; but whicTi is obviously doubt*- 




ful iTom the circumstances under which it was made. I did not 
observe any similar appearance among the other rocks of Meteora ; 
but it is possible that other vestiges of this formation may occiu*, 
which escaped my notice- 

Upon the origin of the conglomerate which forms the basis of the 
Meteora rocks, I do not venture to speculate with any certainty. 
The formation appears to be very limited in extent, at least in its 
connection with the valley of the Salympria, as I did not observe any 
vestiges of it either above or below the situation of Kalabaka. It is 
not improbable, however, that it may extend further back into 
the country to the north of the river ; and I regret that I had not 
time to deviate from our route in this direction, as it might possibly 
liave enabled me to ascertain its relation to the limestone, which forms 
for the most part the immediate boundary of the valley. Whether 
the conglomerate was formed by a deposit of primitive fragments 
brought down from the higher 'mountain-chains, or, according to the 
more recent opinion of some mineralogists respecting this class of 
rocks, was itself actually a chemical precipitate from some fluid, men- 
struum, I cannot pretend to determine, and shair simply observe that 
I consider the former opinion the more probable one. The extreme 
regularity of stratification certainly leads to the inference, that the 
formation took place below the waters of the sea ; but in pursuing 
this subject, we should be conducted to inquiries which are still the 
source of much difference and perplexity to geologists. Fancy might 
seek to trace some connection between the appearances at Meteora, 
and the fincient tradition that the sea once covered all the plains of 
Thessaly ; but the basis of such theory is too obscure to allow much 
confidence in its speculations. 

The nature of the conglomerate of Meteora, a substance extremely 

liable to detritus and decay, affords some explanation of the peculiar 

character of the rocks at this place ; yet it is difficult to conceive how, 

"without the agency of earthquakes, or other convulsions of natwe, 

^ey should have taken forms so singularly abrupt and precipitous, 

Jlowever this may haye been, it is certain that the work of decom- 

II 3 


position is still going on. The rocks of Ithome, though perhaps 
the same in situation, could not have been the same in outline as 
those now present to the eye of the traveller : many of the religious 
edifices on their summits have now disappeared ; others are rapidly 
sinking into decay : and some centuries hence the monasteries of 
Meteora may exist but as a name and tradition of past times. 

Our excursion to the Meteora rocks being finished , we returned to 
Kalabaka, but did not remain there longer than was necessary to 
prepare for our journey to Trikala, twelve miles further down the 
valley. We now observed with more attention the view in front of 
Kalabaka, which hitherto we had only imperfectly seen through the 
obscurity of an evening and a morning sky. Opposite this town, the 
valley, which thus far from the source of the river is irregularly formed 
by the advancing and retiring hills, expands at once into a wide and 
beautiful plain, perfectly level, and stretching to a vast extent in a 
south-easterly direction *. The view of this plain from the elevated 
grouhd about Kalabaka is very striking. Its boundary on the north 
side is a range of hills, comparatively of no gi-eat elevation : on the 
opposite side, the magnificent chain of Pindus is still the barrier ; 
receding gradually however towards the south, and opposing to the 
plain a series of immense cliffs, while its summits appear at intervals 
in the back ground of the landscape. That part of the plain which 
19 immediately in front of Meteora is richly wooded, chiefly with 
mulberry trees ; but farther off the trees are much less numerous, and 
appear only in single clusters on the surface. The fertility of this 
vast district is obvious at the first glance ; and it is seen at once why 
the ancient Thessaly should have been wealthy, populous, and capable 
of supporting great armies ; and why its cavalry, in particular, should 

* Livy mentions the ^ fauces angustse quae ab Athamonia Thessaliam dirimunt" Lib; 
xxxiL c 14. This passage may probably allude to the' contraction in the valley pf the 
Peneusnegr Kalabaka. 


have been celebrated as the earliest and best which was employed in 
the warfare of Greece. 

We now, too, looked back upon the front which the rocks of 
Meleora oppose to the plains below, and saw on this side a more 
regular outline, formed by. a range of perpendicular cHffs, which 
extend from the lofty pinnacle above Kalabaka to the hills, forming 
the boundary of the valley of the Saly mpria. The height of these vast 
precipices, which are entirely composed of the conglomerate rock 
before described, gives them a magnificent effect. Two monasteries 
stand upon the summit of the ridge, not so completely insulated as 
those we had before seen, yet in a situation which might elsewhere be 
the subject of much astonishment to the traveller. 

Trikala lies in a direction nearly south-east from Kalabaka. For the 
first two miles we passed through extensive groves of mulberry-trees, 
set in regular rows, and the intervening spaces chiefly occupied in the 
culture of maize. The trees are all pollards, and are cultivated for 
the food of the silk-worm, which is made an object of considerable 
attention in this district. The silk of Thessaly has obtained some 
celebrity for its quality, bearing an average price in the country of 
from thirty to forty piastres for the oic, a weight of 24 lbs. Of this 
article a considerable quantity is sent over Pindus to loannina; the 
ranainder transmitted to Smyrna, to be again exported thence. The 
practice of keeping the mulberry as a dwarf tree for the feeding of 
silk-worms is very general in Turkey ; a greater facility being thereby 
obtained of taking off the new shoots of each year. The trees are 
careftilly hoed round, and occasionally watered to promote the veget- 

Beyond the groves of mulberry-trees, the plain is very luxuriant in 
its produce of Indian corn, wheat, barley, and cotton ; the cultiv- 
ation of the last increasing as you advance nearer to Trikala: 
much of the land also is occupied as pasture-ground- The peasants 
wepre at this time employed in ploughing their fields ; a people less 
stern in their aspect than the Albanians, but preserving still many 
similarities in their costume and manner. The ploughing is chi^y 


performed by oxen, but in two or three instances we saw the buffaM^ 
thus employed, as well as in drawing the small cars, which are the 
only vehicles of the country. In the style of ploughing there was 
a good deal of neatness ; though the form of the plough, which has 
doubtless descended to these peasants through many successive ages, 
might now admit of some change and improvement. 

The city of Trikala, the Trikka of the ancients, is situated on the 
eastern side of a low ridge of hill, which extends into the plain from 
its northern boundary. Near the extremity of this ridge, and look- 
ing towards the Salympria, which flows at some distance to. the 
south of the city, stand the ruins of the castle of Trikala, a building 
which was probably erected during the period of the Greek emperors, 
as there are no vestiges about it of a more remote antiquity. The 
city is of very considerable extent, containing more than two thou- 
sand houses, and ten or twelve thousand inhabitants. Like many 
other towns in Turkey, it seems as if situated in a wood, the lofty 
minarets of seven mosques rising up among the trees ; besides which 
mosques there are ten Greek churches in the place, and two^ Jewish 
synagogues. The greater part of the inhabitants are Turks ; some of 
them possessing propert}' in the adjoining plains, others living as 
dependants upon the former. 

The number of Greek families in the city amounts to six or seven 
hundred ; and a bishop of the Greek church has his residence here, 
whose diocese extends over the upper part of the plains of Thessaly, 
and who is subject to the metropolitan see of Larissa. There are two 
small Seraglios in Trikala, one belonging to Mouctar, the other to 
Veil Pasha, decorated in the usual style of Turkish edifices. A 
Turkish governor resides in the city, under the appointment of Ali, 
as the Pasha of the city and district. 

By the judicious management of our Tartar, we obtained a lodging 
with one of the principal Greek families of the city. The house of 
our host, loannes Erostonopoli, was well furnished in the style of the 
country; and he received us with much politenes^of manner. Ac- 
cording to the oriental custom, our beds were spread on the soias of 


the sitting-room ; a usage very remote from the En^sh feeling of 
oonifort, but one which is common with the highest classes in 
Turkey- We had not been long settled in this habitatioii, when a 
Greek physician of Trikala came in with the profession of paying 
his respects to us. His name was Constantine Pacomio; a Kttle 
man, apparently between fifty and sixty, with great civility of man- 
ner, still greater loquacity, and a considerable degree of information 
on subjects, which it may surprize the traveller to hear discussed in 
an inland town of Turkey, Tlie quickness and vivacity of his ques- 
tions did not allow him to be long ignorant, that I was of the same 
profession as himself; and he began with much eagerness a train of 
enquiries, which were continued for more than an hour, with little 
other remission than that necessary for making replies. He asked 
whether the system of CuUen or Brown had most preponderance in 
England ; whether any changes had been made in the Brimonian 
doctrine; whether the Zoonomiaof Darwin retained its reputation; 
who were our modern medical authors of celebrity ; what discoveries 
had recently been made in the theory Or practice of medicine; 
with numerous other questions of similar kind. Having in some 
degree satisfied this curiosity, not unnatural in a man educated at 
an Italian University, and now living in the seclusion of a place 
like Trikala, I took my turn in seeking from him some local inform- 
ation upon Thessaly and Albania. He was in general ready in his 
replies, an4 appeared to have much satisfaction in the novelty of this 
accidental intercourse, which he protracted by staying with us till a 
late hour. 

The loquacity of Pacomio prevented bur host, Erostonopoli, from 
taking an equal part in the conversation. He appeared, however, 
a well informed man ; and I found in his house a tolerable coUectioti 
of books ; a few of them the antient Greek authors ; but the greater 
number in the Romaic language. Among the latter, I noticed a 
translation of De la Caille's Treatise on Conic Sections, in two octavo 
volumes, which appears to be executed with' care and accuracy. 


In the course of the evening we walked through a part of the city, 
and ascended the hill above it, to examine the remains of the castle 
of Trikala. The most striking circumstance about this place, is the, 
extraordinary view it commands of the great plains of Thessaly. 
The vale of the Salympria, which is apparently about ten miles wide, 
opposite the city, expands further down to a breadth of little less 
than twenty ; while in a longitudinal direction, from west to east, or 
south-east, it is possible that the eye passes over fifty miles, of a 
perfectly level surface ; for the most part either richly cultivated, or 
affording excellent pasture-land. Little wood appears in this vast 
landscape, though at intervals in its extent, the town or village is 
sera, with its houses irregularly scattered through a groupe of trees. 
There are scarcely any inclosures in the plain, the lands being 
divided chiefly by dykes. The greater part of this district is dis- 
tributed among private proprietors, Greeks as well as Turks ; though 
it seems, that among the former at least, the individual property is 
generally small ; as we were told at Trikala, that the Greek pro- 
prietor, resident in that place, whose lands were of greatest extent, 
did not receive more than 2000 dollars of net annual rent. In a 
country, however, where the government is so despotic, it is difficult 
for a stranger to obtain information on these subjects, which may be 
relied on. We learnt from the physician Pacomio, that land is let 


in the plains of Trikala, on the condition of the tenant paying only a 
tenth part of the produce, either in kind or value, independently of 
the other tenth which is paid to the government ; but this statement 
I should very much doubt, as in Albania the terms of rent are those 
of paying half the value of the produce; and it is unlikely that local 
differences should exist to this amount. It does not appear that any 
form of lease is regularly granted to the tenants of land in this 


The culture of the cotton-plant is carried on to a great extent in 
the plains of Trikala ; and the annual produce of the district is 
estimated at about 600,000 lbs. The cotton is grown upon a given 


portion of land, only once in four years ; so that to one proportioil 
of cotton-land in the occupation of the cultivator, there are always 
three otherwise employed. The crop of 1812 had unfortunately 
been a very deficient one ; but the average price of the Trikala cot- 
tons on the spot, is stated at about thirty paras per lb. Large flocks 
of sheep feed on these plains during the winter, among which I 
observed a considerable proportion of the black-woolled kind. The 
wool, which appears to be only of moderate fineness, is very im- 
portantly used in the ngianufacture of the cbarse woollen cloths, 
blanketing, &c. which are so much employed in Albania, and other 
parts of the Grecian continent. This manufacture occupies a con- 
siderable number of the inhabitants of Trikala. 

The Bazars of this city are somewhat picturesque in their appearance. 
At the height of ten or twelve feet above the pavement, a wooden 
trellis-work passes over the streets, along which vines weave their 
intricate branches, forming in summer a complete shade to the pas- 
sengei-s below. The shops aip clean, and tolerably well furnished ; 
and the people in them, who are chiefly Greeks or Jews, respectable 
in their appearance. 

At 7 o'clock in the morning of the 19th, Signore Pacomio again 
called at our lodging, and remained with us till our Tartar sum- 
moned us to resume our journey. The ancient city of Trikka derived 
celebrity from a temple of Esculapius, of great antiquity and mag- 
nificence * ; and the genius of the place still seemed to be present 
with Pacomio, whose professional zeal continued to shew itself in 
numerous questions respecting the state of medicine in the western 
parts of Europe. He and our host partook with us in our breakfast 
, of tea, but without evincing the genuine godA for this beverage, 
which in Turkey is used only in very small quantity, and this chi^y 
as a medical means to promote perspiration in slight febrile cases. 
Bdbre we left Trikala, I was consulted by Erostonopoli upon the 
case of his wife, a young woman of tall and striking appes^rance, 

* Strabo calls this temple^ a^x^toluTov xoi eri^ftyfrarov, 

K K 


but whom I found labouring under symptoms decidedly phthisical 
in their character. I visited this lady in an apartment adjoining 
our OMrn. Her dress was extremely rich ; under the pelisse she wore 
a vest with deep gold lacings ; the zone was fastened in front by two 
massive bosses of silver ; various chains of gold coins hung from the 
neck, and on her head was a chaplet of pearls and gold coins. When 
I entered the apartment, she kissed my hand, and thea touched her 
forehead with it ; a ceremony which was repeated in the same way, 
when I rose to quit her. Two other patients were brought to me 
this morning by our host ; and the physician Pacomio honoured me 
by a consultation upon his own case, before our departure from 

One of the many Lexicons, by which the Romaic has been asso- 
ciated with the other languages of Europe, was compiled by Koma, 
a native of Trikala; and published at Moscow in 1811. It com^- 
prisses the Russian, French, and modern Greek languages. 

We were perplexed by the manners of our Tartar, while we 
istayed 'in the house of Erostonopoli. He entered into the room 
when he chose, and without any ceremony seated himself on the 
<x>uches ; drank coffee, smoked his pipe, treated all the Greeks who 
were present with contemptuous* indifference, and shewed every 
moment) that if he was a servant, he was at least the servant of a 
lordly master. . Though aware that it was unpleasant to our host, 
we were yet ignorant how far the usage of the country would entitle 
us to repress this seeming impertinence ; and for the time we allowed 
the 'matter to pass without comment. In other respects we had 
much reason to be satisfied with the Tartar- We found him active 
in our service, taking an interest in our various objects of enquiry, 
and gifted with a vivacity and good temper, which often shewed 
themselves in traits of passing pleasantry. We were amused by his 
susceptibility *to praise in his capacity as a Tartar, and by the 
various methods he took to obtain it from us. Both in this, and 
the remaining part of our journey, whenever he had succeeded in 
procuring us better lodgings, or better horses than usual, he came 


forward to obtain his tribute of applause, pointed out minutely 
their several merits, and often added in Romaic, and with a tone 
of sly con6dence, — " But you don't think me a good Tartar : oh 
no, I am not a good Tartar/' Much of this desire to obtain our 
commendation evidently arose from an anxiety that we should 
speak well of him to the Vizier; who, as he knew, had desired 
that we should make a report of his conduct, when he quitted our 
service. He had a great veneration, as well as the appearance 
of attachment, for his master ; and the name of Ali Pasha in his 
mouth was the loftiest symbol of dignity and power. This man 
spoke with fluency the Turkish, Romaic, and Albanese languages. 
His figure, and countenance were veiy striking; and connected with 
the Tartar habit, would have made him a fine subject for. a picture^ 
Trikala is twelve hours journey from Larissa; but we did not 
proceed further on the 19th, than to Zarko, half way between the two 
cities, and in a direction nearly east from the former. Our routQ 
was still along the northern side of the great plain, having the 
Salympria to the south of usi The road, which, except in a few 
marshy situations, has derived little assistance firom art, is nevertheless 
generally good, owing to the nature of the country over which if 
passes. Almost all the habitations in this district are collected into 
small towns or villages, which the modem Greeks still call by the 
ancient name of Choria ; and the single cottage or small hamlet is 
very rarely to be seen. In our day's route we passed two or three of 
these villages, sheltered under the hills which form the northern 
boundary of the plain. The Salympria twice approaches the road 
in its windings ; here a large and deep stream, but not ^^hibiting 
that clearness of current for which it was celebrated imder its ancient 
name of Peneus ; and little of that picturesque character in its 
banks, which is so remarkable in its course from Pindus to the 
plains. About twelve miles from Trikala, we came to the Khan of 
I^okovo, where we stopped to make a meal on water-melons and 
quinces. From the plain in the vicinity of this place, we enjoyed 
a noble view of Mount Olympus, which we now saw for the first 

K K 2 


time since quitting the heights of Pindus : a vast and lofty groupe of 
mountains where the gods might well be supposed to hold their divan. 
From this point of view we observed several distinct summits, sepa- 
rated by great hollows of the mountain, so as to form a considerable 
extent of elevated heights ; all of these which appeared above the 
level bf the intervening hills covered at this time with the snows of 
winter. The general direction of Olympus from this point is nearly 
north-east. On the opposite side of the plain, we still saw the mag- 
nificent chain of Pindus receding towards the south, and forming in 
its course some lofty summits called Goura, situated, as I conjecture, 
near the source of the river Hellada, the Sperchius of antiquity.* 

Near Plokovo we approached the front of the hills which form the 
northern boundary of the plain, and which rise by a gradual ascent 
towards the north. The rock here is a white compact limestone, like 
'that of Albania. At the foot of one of these limestone hills, not fju^ 
from the village of Chigoti, a large stream breaks out suddenly fi-om 
under the cliffs, and flows into the Salympria, a phenomenon which 
is frequent in every part of Greece, and in other countries where 
limestone forms the prevailing'feature. At Zarko, which is situated 
in a recess from the plains, among the same range of hills, the rock is 
likewise of limestone, but the houses and walls at this place are built 
in great measure of primitive slate rocks, chiefly gneiss and micaceous 
schistus ; and numerous fragments of similar kind appear on the sur- 
face in this vicinity. There can be little doubt but that the hills 
fiirther removed from the plain, and stretching in a direction towards 
Olympus, are composed of these primitive rocks ; an opinion which 
receives some confirmation from the general character of their out- 
line, corresponding with that common to the slate fonnation.-f- 

* These summits probably belong to the Mount Tymphrestus mentioned by Strabo. 

f On the northern side of the plain between Trikala and Zarko were probably situi^ed 
the ancient towns of PeUnnieum and Pharycadon; the latter furthest to the east Strabo 
mentions both these places as being on the northern side of the Peneus. On the extremity 
of the range of hill which contracts the valley opposite Zarko^ are some inconsiderablie 
ruins y but as I judge, from a distant view of them, of more modem date. 


Zarko is a small place, containing about 500 people, who, as well 
as the inhabitants of all the neighbouring villages, are chiefly 
euiployed in the cultivation of cotton, and in tending their flocks 
of sheep. Our Tartar procured us a lodging in the house of the 
principal Greek of the town, a bearded and venerable old* man, who 
received us with great hospitality. The change of the peasantry in 
this part of Thessaly from those .in Albania is very distinctly marked. 
There is something much less ferocious in the aspect ; and, in the man^ 
ner, more of the cii^ility and courtesy of life. Ahnost universally they 
salute you on the road with the phrase of KetXuc o^i^trs^ and with the 
hand raised to the breast. The Albanese soldier or peasant, in 
passing, often allows the end of his long fusil to strike against you : 
the peasant of this country is careful not to iiK^ommode you on the 
way, and apologizes for any accidental inconvenience he may afibrd. 
The dress, too, is now materially changed. The red Albanian cap is 
seldom seen ; but the men generally wear a coloured or white hand- 
kerchief, folded two or three times round the head ; the children, a 
cotton cap, coloured in stripes. Coarse white cotton and woollen stufls 
are the principal material, both of the male and female dresses. In 
the vicinity of Zarko, as well as of TrikaJa, I observed a great 
quantity of the datura strammonium. When "at the latter place, I 
explained to the physician Pacomio the medical value of this plant 
in certain asthmatic cases; and he expressed his intention of employ-^ 
ing it on the first occasion which might occur. 
• On the morning of the 20th, we continued our journey to Larissa, 
which is eighteen or twenty miles distant. Near Zarko the immediate 
valley of the river is contracted by a range of low hills of limestone, 
which traverse a part of the great plain. This contracted part of 
the valley is more rugged in its character, and chiefly occupied as 
pasture land. At Kutzuchuro, seven miles from Zarko, we crossed 
over to the south side of the Salympria in a large horse-boat. The 
river here is fifty or sixty yards in width, and apparently deep ; 
but its banks are flat and uninteresting. A few miles beyond this 
place the character of the scenery is changed ; and the Salympria, 


quiting its contracted valley among these hills, enters another vast 
tract of level plain, connected, indeed, further to the south with that 
of Trikala, but seen from this point as a distinct surface of coun- 
try ; bounded to the north by the mountains which rise into the heights 
of Olympus ; on its eastern side by Mount Ossa and the chain of hills 
which extend southwards to the ancient Pelion. The extent of this 
portion of the plain of Thessaly, from north to south, is not less than 
fifty miles ; in the ancient division of the country, it was called by 
distinction ThessaUotis, or Thessaly Proper. Entering it on the 
western side, the Salympria flows through a narrow belt of wooded 
land ; but the remainder of the plain is for the most part naked of 
trees. Its surface is not so uniformly level as that of the country sur* 
rounding Trikala ; rising to the south of the river into successive 
ridges, which are not however sufficiently elevated to change the 
general character of the plain. Its whole extent gives to the eye an 
aspect of richness and cultivation, which accords well with the real 
character of the landscape. 

A striking feature in this plain is the city of Larissa, situated on a 
gently rising ground on the south side of the Salympria, and giving 
magnificence to the distant view from the minarets of twenty-four 
mosques which ornament the place. Larissa, or Yeniseri as the 
Turks term it, was one of the most considerable and wealthy cities of 
ancient Thessaly, and at the present time is considered the capital of 
the province, and forms the residence of the provincial government. 
Our Tartar had gome forwards from Kutzuchuro to apprize Veli 
Pasha of our arrival in the neighbourhood ; and about two miles 
from the city we met him returning to us, accompanied by a physi- 
cian of the Pasha's, by two Zantiotes, likewise medical practitioners 
in Larissa, and by three or four soldiers. Signore Teriano, the phy- 
sician, introduced himself to us ; and with a profusion of civil phrases, 
spoken in all the range of Italian superlative, told us that he had 
been commissioned by the Vizier, Veli Pasha, to compliment our 
arrival, and to conduct us to the house of the Archbishop of Larissa, 
where accommodations had been ordered to be provided for us. 


Under the escort of this gentleman and his companions we entered 
the city, and proceeded to the metropolitan palace, if such may be 
termed an old and irregular building, on an eminence overhanging 
the Peneus, without any other splendour than that of situation alone, 
and with an access singularly mean and forbidding. We found the 
interior of the. . building, however, much more comfortable than this 
exterior foreboded ; and we were welcomed to his habitation by the 
Archbishop^ in a manner so courteous aad attentive, that we could 
not but augur well of our abode in the city of Larissa. 

( 256 ) 






T1I7E had not been long settled in the house of the Archbishop, 
^ ^ before two other physicians came in to visit us, both Greeks, 
and one of them remarkable for the manly dignity of his figure and 
countenance. This was loannes Velara, a native of loannina, and 
a man well known in the community of the modern Greeks by his 
erudition and literary habits, who has been attached for several years 
to the medical service of Veli Pasha, successively in the Morea and in 
Thessaly • Our other visitor was Lucas Bia, one of the physicians of 
AH Pasha, who had been sent by the Vizier to Larissa a few weeks 
before, to assist in giving medical advice upon his son's case. This 


young man, the brother of Athanasius Bia, was born at Lekli : his 

family distinguished themselves by their attachment to the fortunes 

of Ali, who, in consequence of this, sent him, when a boy, to receive 

a medical education at the universities of Italy and Germany. He 

remained twelve years abroad, dividing this period of time at 

Pavia, Vienna, and Leipsic ; and had returned into Albania about a 

year before, to take his station as one of the physicians of the Vizier. 

Lucas is betrothed to the daughter of Psalida of loannina ; and very 

frequently, while in that city, we had heard his future father-in-law 

speak of him in terms of commendation. We found him a young 

man of mild and prepossessing manners, formed rather upon the 

European model, than upon those of his native country, and with a 

seeming melancholy ^.bout him, was not unfair to attribute 




to a comparison of his present life with that of the preceding twelve 
years. In our conversation with these two physicians, we soon dis- 
covered the superior and masculine understanding of Velara j all 
whose remarks bore a character of deep and habitual thought, and 
of extensive knowledge, r^idered more impressive by a sort of stoical 
and contemptuous humour, which seemed the offspring of natural 
vivacity suppressed by circumstances, or of ambition disappointed 
by the events of life. 

Through the medium of Velara and Lucas, we were enabled to 
carry on a conversation with the Archbishop, who did not himself 
speak any other languages than ihe Romaic and Albanese, with the 
inteiTention of a few phrases in broken Italian. His name is Poly- 
carp. He is an Albanian by birth, and the only one of that people, 
as he assured us, who, in these modern times, has attained the metro^ 
politan dignity. To this high situation in the Greek church, which 
he had yet occupied little more than a^ year,- it is said that he was 
devated by the favour of Ali Pasha. Previously to this time he 
had been Bishop of the district which includes the site of ancient 
Troy, (if indeed it be allowed to speak thus definitely of a much con- 
troverted matter ;) and in giving us this information of his past life^ 
he added, " that Achilles had gone from Thessaly to Troy ; he on the! 
other hand came from Troy to Thessaly.'' The archbishopric of 
liarissa is one of the most valuable situations in the Greek church. 
Nine bishoprics are included under the diocese, and its gross revenue 
was stated to me at 200,000 piastres, or about 9000/. per annum. I 
apprehend, however, that there may be exaggeration in this 3tate- 
ment ; and it is at least certain, that there is a large deduction from 
this revenue by the pecuniary extortions of the Turkish authorities : 
the Archbishop himself informed us that about 30,000 piastres per 
annum were required to satisfy the several demands of Ali Pasha, of 
the provincial government of Thessaly, and of the court of Constant 
tinople. Though thus high in ecclesiasiastical dignity, our host had 
not yet reached his fortieth year ; and but for the long black beard 
which flowed over his breast, his countenance might have been cqu-» 



sidered that of a young mail. On his head he wore the small circular 
hat, .common to the Greek clergy ; while his full black robes gave 
dignity to a person naturally tall and well formed. 
. At an early hour of ,the morning after our arrival, the three physi- 
cians, Velara, Lucas, andTeriano, called at the Archbishop^s ; and at 
ten o'clock, Veli Pasha, who had just returned from the baths, sent 
a messenger to say that he was prepared to receive us. Accompanied 
by Lucas and Teriano, we immediately went to the Seraglio, a build- 
ing greatly inferior in every respect to the palaces of loannina, but 
which ^ve were * told was mwely a temporary residence ; two months 
only having yet elapsed since Veli Pasha's arrival from the Morea, 
and his assumption of the government of Thessaly . When entering the 
area before this building, we met two young boys richly dressed, and 
followed by a train of soldiers and other attendants. These were the 
sons of Veli Pasha ; the eldest, as the son of a Vizier, having the 
title of Mahomet Pasha ; the second called Selim Bey. They stopped 
a moment to gaze upon us as we passed, and delayed the physicians 
to enquire from them who the strangers were. We ascended from 
the area into the gallery of the Seraglio, which was crowded with 
soldiers, black slaves, and people waiting to obtain an audience. 
The soldiers were chiefly Albanians, but not so ferocious in appear^ 
ance as the guards who crowd the palaces of Ali Pasha. 

We were conducted into the apartment of Veli, a room of incon- 
siderable size, and not more splendidly furnished than many we had 
seen in the houses of the principal Greeks. The Vizier was sitting on 
a divan at the upper extremity ; on his head he wore a large blue 
turban cap, with bands of white linen folded round its lower border: 
his outer robe was of red colour, and richly furred round the edges : 
in his belt he carried a dagger, the broad hilt of which was covered 
with jewels. On the couch near him was seated a Turk, of stately 
and dignified exterior, whose name we afterwards learnt to be Achmet 
Bey, a man of wealth and authority, and betrothed to the daughter 
of Veli- The Vizier received us with a politeness or even refine- 
ment of manner, which are rarely to be found in xiny. class of the 


Turkish community. We presented a letter to him from his father, 
Ali Pasha, recommending us to his good offices, and expressing an 
earnest desire that he should avail himself of my medical services for 
his complaints. Having read this letter, which was written in the 
Romaic, he expressed in a courteous manner his satisfaction in seeing 
us at Larissa. He spoke of the pleasure he had always experienced 
in meeting individuals of the English nation, whom he ever con- 
sidered as his friends, * and mentioned the names of several travellers 
who visited TripoUtza, during his residence there as governor of the 
Morea. He then enquired when we had left England ; by what route 
we had travelled ; and what were the future plans of our journey ; 
offering at the same time to afford every assistance to them. We 
afterwards conversed for some time on political subjects, and chiefly 
upon the campaign of the French in Russia, a subject which evidently 
much interested him, as it had done his &ther ; and the more so from 
his having been personally engaged against the Russians on the Danube, 
little more than a year before. I put into his hands two or three of the 
French bulletins in the Romaic language, which I had brought with 
me from Zante, and these he desired to keep for furth^ examinBtion« 
Coffee and pipes had been presented to us by the attendants soon 
afta: we entered the apartment. After conversing on indifferent 
subjects for half an hour, Veli Pasha alluded to his complaints, and 
expressed his wish to consult me upon them. He told me explicitly, 
and at the same time with some humour in his manner, that for several 
years there had been a difference of opinion among his physiciajds ; 
that he wished me to hear separately their narratives, without entirely 
trusting to any one of them, and afterwards to give my own opinion 
upon his case, and the means to be pursued. All that I did not 
understand of this speech, which was protracted to considerable 
lengdi, was translated to me by Teriano, who continued present, but 
standing during the whole time of our audience. Veli Pasha, however, 
speaks the Romaic with remarkable propriety and distinctiveness*, 
and there was little which might not be followed evein by an ear 
yet only partially tutored in the language.' 

L L 2 


. Before quitting the apartment, he urged us to continue our stay 
at Larissa as long as possible, and offered the use of his carriage ta 
assist us in surveying the neighbourhood of the city. His manner, 
throughout t^ie whole of the interview, preserved the same tone of 
politeness. It was evident that he had formed it in part upon the 
European model, which his situation and temper had given him more 
frequent opportunities of studying, than are common among his 
countrymen. Occasionally, in his conversation, he mixed a broken 
Italian phrase with his purer Romaic ; and this, with a propriety of 
manner, which conveyed the desire of obliging, without lessening 
the dignity that befitted his rank. In his smile there was something 
of gracefulness, which strangely contrasted with the loud and vehement 
laugh of Ali Pasha ; and in all his movements a species of refinement, 
which would be striking, even though it did not so remarkably differ 
from the ordinary carriage of the Turkish grandee. 

Veil Pasha is about thirty-eight years of age, with regular and hand- 
some features, and an expression of countenance that accords well with 
the manner just described. His general character is indeed liable to 
the imputation of gross sensuality, but it is nevertheless not entirely at 
variance with these appearances. Though brought up amidst his father's 
wars, and in the view of his despotic government, he has acquired, and 
appears to have deserved, the reputation of humanity ; and it was 
remarked th?tt during his government of the Morea, the number of 
executions in that province was much smaller than at any preceding 
period. His repute as a military character is below that of Mouctar 
Pasha, but in political sagacity, and all other acquirements, he is 
considered to be greatly his superior. In the course of his political 
life, it would seem, as far as a judgment may be formed from appear- 
ances, that he has been in part detached from the career of his father, 
and has acknowledged more immediately the authority of the Porte. 
It is probable indeed that his appointment to the government of the 
Morea was obtained through the influence of Ali Pasha ; but his 
continuance in this province depended on the will of the court of 
Constantinople; and hiA removal from it was accomplished by thQ. 



mandate of tlie SultaiQ. From the secret character of Ali^s policy, it 
is difficult to ascertain what part he bore in these affairs ; but it seems 
certdin that Veli Pasha was anxious to maintain his situation in the 
Morea, and that he made efforts to attain this object, which in. them- 
selves became ultimately one of the causes of his removal • He con- 
tinued about six years in this province. His government, as I have 
remarked, exhibited in some respects a great degree of mildness 
and refinement. Though much intrigue and conspiracy surrounded 
him, it is said that he never shed the blood of any but those con- 
demned by the law : his manner towards the Greeks of the Morea 
was less harsh and forbidding than that of his predecessors; his 
reception of foreigners was courteous, and he encouraged many of 
the schemes of antiquarian researcii, ' which were scA on foot in this 
part of Greece. But to maintain his interests with the Porte, he was 
obliged to transmit large sums of money to Constantinople : it is said 
that he annually sent thither more than six thousand purses, or 
150,000/., — a tribute greatly exceeding what had usually been paid by 
the province of the Morea, and the collection of which was attended 
with many circumstances of oppression to the people. The hixurious 
and sensual character of Veli, and the number of troops maintained 
in his pay, increased the expences of his court, and probably led to 
the adoption of many harsh measures for obtaining money. This 
system of extortion produced open. murmurs and concealed^intrigues. 
The Greeks of the Morea, quick and intelligent people, concerted 
their plans of opposition, maintained emissaries at Constantinople, 
and succeeded in bringing their complaints before the notice of the 
Sultan Mahmud. In the mean-time the Russian armies were menacing 
the interior provinces of the Turkish empire. Veli Pasha offered to 
conduct his troops to the banks of the Danube, and his services were 
accepted by the Porte. He led to the scene of warfare a body of 
fourteen or fifteen thousand men ; and bore an active part, as it 
appears, in several of the actions which signalized the campaign of 
1811, since but a small portion of this army returned with him 


into the Morea the ensuing year*. The inhabitants of the province, 
avaihng themselves of his* absence, and of the feebleness of his 
remaining force, ventured in several places an active opposition to 
his authority. These attempts, how^ever, uncombined and unsup- 
ported by any foreign power, were not successful in producing a 
revolution, but the exasperated spirit of the Moriotes accomplished 
by intrigue what open force could not obtain ; and their acquired 
influence at Constantinople, aided probably by a sense of the danger 
to which the Turkish authority was exposed in the province, pro- 
cured a mandate for the removal of Veli Pasha. This change was 
eflFected in the summer of 1812. The government of Larissa, and 
the adjoining part of Thessaly, was at the same time conferred upon 
him; which new dignity, however, is probably little more than 
nominal in its nature. The real dominion of Thessaly was previously 
in the hands of Ali Pasha, and it cannot be doubted that all the 
eflFective power of the government continues in the same channel. 
The state of political relation between the father and son is not very 
accurately known, and I have more than once heard that there 
were private disagreements betwixt them, which deterred Veli Pasha 
from appearing at loannina. I did not myself observe any evidence 
of such disagreements, but nevertheless it is possible that they may 
actually exist. 

In the course of his public life, Veli Pasha has acquired a large 
property in villages and lands; partly by the gift of his father, 
partly by his own purchase, and other modes of acquisition. It is 
rumoured that since he quitted the Morea, pecuniary charges to an 
enormous amount have been brought against him by the Porte ; but 
I do not venture to say that this story has any certain foundation. 

* In a long article of the Moniteur of January 1 8 1 3, pointedly directed against the 
fiimily pretensions of Ali Pasha; who is accused of aiming at the dignity of SuUan, there 
is an invective against Veli Pasha, as having &voured, rather than opposed, the operations 
pf the Russians in this campaign, 


His political reputation has already been alluded ta During my 
stay in Greece, it was rumoured that he was likely to obtain the 
dignity of Capitan Pasha, or High Admiral of Turkey, one of the 
most elevated offices of the empire ; but this report had probably no 
foundation in truth. Unless the Porte were assured of Veh's political 
separation from his father, it would be a dangerous measure to 
concede to him a situation of so much importance. 

Veil Pasha has had two wives; one of them the daughter of 
Ibrahim Pasha of Berat ; the other, I believe, a daughter of Ishmad 
Bey of Seres. By these marriages, there are several children of 
both sexes. Veli's Haram at Larissa is said to contain about 
sixty females, but this I learnt merely as a matter of current report ; 
and I give it as such. 

Veli Pasha is the only Turk of whom it can be said, that he has an 
understanding of the value of antiquarian knowledge, or any d^ee 
of taste for those models of art which Grecian research has disclosed. 
I may mention it as a curious fact, that in one of his journicts from 
the Morea to Thessaly , he turned aside to visit the ruins at Athens. 
He pitched his tents without the city, that no umbrage might be 
given to the inhabitants, and desired them to consider him as enas 
Mihrdos, come to look at the curiosities of the place. He ascended 
the AcrppoUs; surveyed all that remains of antient Athens; con- 
ducted himself with much politeness towards the principal Greeks of 
the place; and this finished, quietly pursued his journey. 

Quitting the Seraglio of Veli Pasha, we returned to the Arch- 
bishop's house, where dinner was served up to us at one o'clock. 
The Archbishop himself, aiid the physicians, Velara and Lucas, 
were at the table, which, as at loannina, was merely a large pewter- 
tray, placed upon a wooden tripod. The dishes were for the most 
part served up singly. A thin soup, boiled mutton, roasted fowls, 
baked mutton, fricasseed fowls, with chesnuts ; a dish of mutton with 
celery ; boiled rice, eaten together with another dish, curiously com- 
posed of stewed pears and stewed mutton ; these dishes, followed by 
goats-milk cheese, and a dessert of grapesi and olives, formed the 


fashion and order of our archiepiscopal dinner at Larissa. Three 
or four bearded attendants, all of them functionaries in the church, 
were in waiting upon us, whose subservience to the exalted ecclesias- 
tical dignity before them, was very strikingly, marked in the high 
tone of authority on the one side, and the perfect submissiveness on 
the other. The impetuous spirit of the native Albanian was not en- 
tirely lost in the demeanor of the Greek Archbishop. 

While smoking our pipes after dinner, the carriage of Veli Paslia, 
made after the German fashion, and drawn by six pye-bald horses, 
was driven up to the gates, and a soldier came to inform us that the 
Vizier had sent it, in compliance with his promise of the morning. 
We were solicitous that one of the two physicians should have accom- 
panied us ; but the pretence of business was easily intelligible, as a 
cloke to their dread of entering the carriage of their lordly master. We 
set out therefore alone ; and expressing a desire to visit the country to 
the north of the city, were conveyed over the Peneus, to the great 
plain wliich extends in this direction, even to the foot of the Olympus 
chain. A Mussulman coachman sat on the box of the carriage ; a 
Greek postillion drove the fore-horses. Except where impeded by 
ditches or morasses, which are numerous in this district, we pro- 
ceeded with great rapidity, the horses being generally kept on a 
canter or gallop. It was one of the latest of the fine days which 
precede the rainy season and winter of this climate. Traversing thus 
rapidly tiie plains of ancient Thessaly, in the carriage of a Turkish 
Pasha, — Olympus. before us; Ossa on the right hand, the Peneus 
winding through the plain, to seek the rocky defiles of Tempe; —there 
was an impression upon the mind from the character and combi- 
nation of these objects, which may more easily be conceived than 

We extended our excursion to the vicinity of Tornavo, a large 
town about six miles to the north-west of Larissa, an entrance into 
which was at present interdicted to us from the suspicion of the 
plague existing in the place. This suspicion was afterwards shewn 
to be well founded. A Tartar traveling from Constantinople towards 

• .'> 


the southetn parts of Turkey^ had been detained at Tornavo by ill^ 
tiess, and died here. Several individuals of the house in which this 
happened, were soon afterwards seized by the symptoms of tbe plague, 
and Glared the same fate. It was just at this time tiiat we arrived at 
Larissa, where we found much anxiety prevaiUng, from the vicinity 
and connection of the two places. The disease extended itself to 
other families in Tomavo; but a great part of the inhabitants 
deserted the town, and from this or other causes, as I afterwards 
learnt, it would appear that its progress was suspended, before the 
calamity had spread itself far. The dreadful destruction which the 


plague committed at Constantinople during the year 1812, was at 
this period at its height. During our stay at LariBsa, the Archbishop 
received a letter of some credit from that city, in which it was 
affirmed, that the deaths there, in the preceding three months, 
amounted to about 120,000; and that in the month of October, 
not fewer than 2000 on the average died every day. Some months 
afler this time, I had the opportunity of seeing a wriiten docimient, in 
which an estimate was given of the mortality at Cohstadtinople and its 
environs, during the period from June 1812, to die following January . 
This document, which derived an appearance of accuracy from the 
minuteness of its details, stated the total number of deaths to exceed 
300,000. There may be eixaggeration in these estimates, but it is at 
least certain, that there are few recorded instances of greater calamity 
within the same time, and among the same amount of population. : 

The town of Tomavo, and the surrounding district, are the prin- 
cipal seat of a large manufacture of cotton stuffs ; of which it is 
said, that between 20,000 and 30,000 pieces are annually manu- 
factured, at the export price of from six to twelve piastres per 
piece. These stuffs are much employed for sailors' clothing and 
similar purposes ; and there is a large export of them, not only 
to various part^ of the Levant, but also to Malta, Leghorn, Trieste, 
and other ports of the Mediterranean. Tomavo, and the ne^h- 
bouring towns, partake largely also in the manufacture of the fine- 
spun cottons; the raw material of which is procured from the plains 

M M 


of Thessaly. The red dye given to them, accOTding to the Greek 
method which will hereafter be noticed, is held in much estimation. 
A very large quantity of this cotton yarn is every year conveyed over 
the moimtains into Albania, and much of it exported from the 
gulph of Arta to Italy and Germany. Many of the Greeks of 
Tomavo have acquired wealth and respectability from their engage- 
ments in this branch of commerce. Demetrius Alexandrides, a 
native of this place, now a physician in Vienna, has translated 
Goldsmith^s History of Greece, and the Geography of the Arabian 
Abulfeda ; and has also published a dictionary of the Turkish and 
Romaic languages. 

We returned to Larissa, while there was yet sufficient day-light to 
enable us to survey a part of the city. TRie only striking feature in its 
situation is derived from the Salympria ; here a broad and deep stream, 
which, approaching the city through a tract of wooded valley, flows 
underneath a convent of Dervishes, two large Turkish mosques, and 
several groupes of lofty buildings ; and, passing the sombre enclosure 
of a Turkish burying-ground, again disappears among the woods. 
The extent and population of Larissa are very considerable ; and the 
estimate I received of 4000 houses, and 20,000 inhabitants, is 
probably not beyond the truth. The internal appearance of the 
city is mean and irregular ; the streets are ill-built, narrow, and dirty ; 
and in the houses and inhabitants alike, there is a general indication 
of wretchedness. The Bazars, which form as usual the central part 
of ttie town, are indifferently supplied with manufactured goods. 
In Walking through the streets in the suburbs of the city, I was sur- 
prized by observing the large amount of negro population, which 
was much greater than I have remarked in any other Turkish town. 
Many of these outer streets, from their situation, are exposed to the 
river floods of the Salypipria, and about a year before our visit to 
Larissa, some hundred cottages are said to have been destrpyed by 
this cause, the ruins of which were in many places still visible. The 
habitations in this qqarter of the city are for the most patt con^ 
tttructed of stones, wood, and clay, rudely compacted together^ 


Of the pdpulation of Larissa it is probable that three-fourths are 
entirely Turkish ; the number of Greek and Jewish inhabitants con- 
jointly not exceeding a thousand families, A certain proportion of 
the Turkish residents possess lands in the surrounding country, and 
derive their revenue from this source ; but the greater number are 
dependants on these landed proprietors, and live that life of unvary- 
ing indolence which is the habitual characteristic of the nation. This 
system of indolent dependence could not equally exist in a commu- 
nity where the habits and inventions of luxury and of civilization 
WCTC more entirely formed ; but the Turk (and perhaps it is true 
of other Oriental nations), while education and custom render him 
averse to all regular activity of life, and while he sleeps away much 
of his existence in listless apathy, is nevertheless singularly temperate 
in many of his habits ; and if he creates little by his productive 
labour, it must be owned that it is but little he consumes. His diet 
is simple and moderate ; the pipe, the baths, and the drinking of 
coffee are his principal luxuries as well as occupations ; his garments, 
though costly, seldom require renewal ; and general respectability in 
the scale of society is maintained with much }ess personal expence 
than in the communities of civilized. Europe. It may be f^r to add, 
that this mutual patronage and dependence among Turks of different 
classes is probably influenced in part by motives connected with their 
religion ; and the effect, though one but of partial and mistaken bene- 
volence, is not entirely to be removed from the rank of a national virtue. 
In its consequences, however, it is evidently injurious to the character 
and welfare of the community ; to be aware of which, it is only 
necessary to contrast the exterior appearances of those towns where 
the lower class of population is Mussulmen, with others where the 
corresponding class is composed of Greek and Jewish inhabitants. 
Though the relative situation of the two people be that of masters 
and slaves, yet it will be found that all the outer signs of degradation 
belong in greater degree to the condition of the former. The Greek 
town presents in general the aspect of industrious and useful life ; and 
unless when borne down by some of those circum9t4nces of Ipc^l 



oppression which are so common in the irregular government of 
Turkey, the population have an appearance of comfort in their 
dwellings, clothing, and in the various habits of life not much infe- 
rior to that of other nations in the south. of Europe. 

In the towns chiefly inhaloited by Turks, Ae most striking circum- 
stance is the air of uniform indolence and unbroken monotony which 
pervades every part of the scene. As you walk along the street, few 
sounds of the human voice come upon the ear. Reclining in his 
gallery, or on cushions before his door, the Turk is seen to repose in 
a silence and grave stillness of demeanour, whidi might for the 
moment sanction even idleness with the name of dignity : his only 
movement that of raising or depressing his long pipe ; his only 
conversation, if any there be, an occasional brief sentence, addressed 
in a low and d'eliberate tone to those who may be near him, and 
answered with the same formal apathy of manner. Or you may meet 
these people in their progress to the baths or the mosque, treading 
with a slow, stately, and measured st^ ; scarcely deigning to notice 
the stranger as he passes them ; and by demeanour alone drawing 
an involuntary homage of respect, which is little due to the intrinsic 
merits of the man. Elsewhere ignorance is generally noisy or fedifet 
— among the Turks it is disguised from outward observation by a 
gravity or even propriety of manner, which are not the artifice of 
individuals, but the national habit of the people* 

This universal aspect of indolence, however, is the circumstance 
which least oflfends the eye in a Turkish town ; and the matter it 
affords for speculation on the origin and variety of the national cha* 
racter, may reconcile it for a time to the mind of the observer. Its 
effects are more disagreeably seen in the appearances of neglect and 
decay which every-where present themselves ; houses falling for want 
of repair ; the habitations of the lower classes wretched and comfort- 
less ; filth accumulating in the streets without removal ; and a general 
want of those circumstances which give order and propriety to social 
life. The stranger will be astonished, in a thousand instances, by the 
strangeness of the contrast betweoi the exterior of the Turks axkd of 



Uieir habitations ; and alker following in the street a figure of dignified 
manner and splendid dress, will wonder to see him enter an abode 
where all is meanness and decay. This common character of the to^vns 
where the population is principally Turkish, shews itself strikingly in 
Larissa, in various forms of nuisance and deformity. An active 
population might speedily reform these evils ; but the inertness of the 
Turks cannot be roused into action even by personal inconvenience ; 
and time is allowed to work its progressive changes without check or 
counteraction from the hand of man; 

The Turkish inhabitants of Larissa are charged by the Greieks with 
peculiar ferocity of disposition, and hostility to the Christian religion. 
In a geographical work of some merit, composed in the Romaic 
language ^, they are characterized as Murox^^ot §lc ax^o, xcu dii^taiiig : 
haters of Christ to the highest degree^ and brutal; and the same ill 
nepute I have frequently heard extended to them in conversation 
with thb Greeks of the country. With some exaggeration, there 
pr obaUy is a certain degree of truth in this ; the irregularity of the 
internal government in Turkey giving rise to local varieties, which 
would otherwise seem improbable from the uniformity of the Turkish 
character. I had myself the opportunity of observing in part the 
terror in which the Turks of Larissa are held by the Greek inhabitants 
of the place. The house of the Archbishop Poly carp resembled a prison, 
or a place of secret refuge ; the gates conducting to it were always 
opened with a sort of suspicious anxiety, and an impression of alarm 
and distrust was ever visible among the inhabitants of this mansion. 
The Archbishop himself very rarely quits its precincts, influenced' by 
the apprehension of insult if seen in the streets of the city. On the 
second day of our abode in his house, while sitting with him in his 
apartment, a Turk of surly and forbidding aspect, and evidently of 
the lower class, entered the room, seated himself unceremoniously on- 
the sofa, filled his pipe, and took coffee from the attendants. The 

The TewygoifM Neonrcgtxi]. 


Archbishop was obviously embarrassed, but made no comment. 
After a short interval, he took a coin Irom his purse, probably a 
zequin, and put it silently into the hand of the Turk, who imme*^ 
diately disappeared. Our Tartar, too, was equally intrusive here, as 
he had been at Trikala ; entering the apartment at any time, smoking 
his pipe, and. taking his part in conversation without restraint. 

It is probable that the situation of the ancient Larissa nearly coin- 
cided with that of the modern city ; and if this be the case, we may 
presume that the citadel mentioned by Livy * stood upon the emi- 
nence which overhangs the bridge of the Peneus. On this spot there 
now stands a large mosque, the portico of which is supported by 
columns belonging to more ancient edifices. They are disposed with 
true Turkish taste ; some having the capital reversed and bearing the 
shaft of the column, others with the base where the capital should 
have been. In another part of the city we observed the remains of a 
statue of the finest marble, fixed as a comer-stone to the pav^nent, 
and other stones having the vestiges of Greek inscriptions, but none 
that were not illegible from time. 

* Lib. xliL c. 67. 

( 271 ') 






ON the evening of our second day's residence at Larissa, the three 
physicians came to the Archbishop's, to comply with Veli Pasha's 
directions in giving me a detailed history of his complaints, and of 
the mode of treatment hitherto pursued. The narrative thus divided 
lasted nearly two hours ; more than half this time was occupied by 
Signore Tcriano^ who made his statement with much pomp of elo- 
cution, great repetition, and a multitude of long words. The other 
two physicians were less elevated in their narratives, and explained 
accurately all that I wished to know. Our medical business concluded 
for the evening, Teriano departed, while Velara and Lucas remained 
to supper at the Archbishop's table. Our party was joined by a 
Greek priest : we had much conversation, and sat over our pipes till 
a late hour. 

The following day being Sunday, we had the opportunity of wit- 
nessing the service of the Greek metropolitan church, the only place 
of Christian worship in Lari^sa. This edifice adjoins the house of 
the Archbishop, and is equally secluded by its situation from the 
public eye. The interior is dark and gloomy ; exhibiting indeed 
much superficial decoration, but on a small scale, and without taste, 
or splendour of effect. The service began at eight in the morning, 
and by the care of the Archbishop we were provided with seats 
underneath the elevated pulpit in which he himself sat. His own 
figure was the most striking obje ct in the church. He wore purple 


robes, richly embroidered in front with gold lace; and over the 
square hat, common to the Greek clergy, was thrown a hood of 
black silk, "which flowed down upon his shoulders. His manner was 
dignified and imposing ; and when at intervals in the service he rose 
from his seat, and spreading his hands in benediction over the people, 
pronounced the simple and beautifril words, Ei^^yif wcun^ Peace be to 
alU there was aa effect of mingled solemnity and benevolence which 
might not easily be surpassed. The other parts of the service did not 
accord with this simplicity. In the Greek worship, yet more than in 
the Catholic, there is an accumulation of trifling details and exterior 
observances, on the general influence of which it would be needless 
here to speak, but which oflen ofiend the judgment by their frivolity, 
or by their connection with the superstitions of antecedent ages. The 
public worship of the saints, as they are represented in the tawdry 
paintings of the churches, employs at least as much religious zeal 
among the Greeks as among the Sicilians or Portuguese. When a 
Greek enters the church, he places himsdf opposite the altar, and 
makes the sign of the Greek cross three, or more frequently nine, 
times, bowing so as nearly to touch the ground with his hand at each 
repetition. He then advances towards the altar, crosses himself 
again before the pictures of our Saviour, and of particular saints; and 
presses his lips successively to these pictures as he proceeds. These 
and other similar cerenlonies are frequently repeated in the course of 
the service ; and in the church of Larissa become yet more numerous 
from the presence of the Archbishop, to whom each minister of the 
church approaches when about to perform his functions, bowing his 
head to receive a benediction, and kissing the hand which is extended 
to him. 

The number of the ministers employed in the several parts of the 
service is very considerable ; and there is a studied variety as well as 
splendour in the robes which they wear. Various offices in the 
church, and even certain of the readings, are performed by young 
boys, with the same obvious design of engaging the attention by the 
change of objects before the eye. 


It must be owned, that in the variety and rapid succession of these 
ceremonies there is something well calculated to affect the feelings of 
the lower classes ; and the principle of appeal to the senses once 
admitted, it becomes difficult to fix precise limits to its extension^ 
The Greek church, deriving its character from an age when religion 
was alike subservient to the ignorance of bigotry, and to the selfish 
purposes of a corrupt and declining monarchy, has retained its pom^ 
pous minuteness of ritual, even while labouring under the evils of 
Turkish oppression, and when no longer able to invest with the shew 
of grandeur the seeming puerilities of a superstitious worship. 

The number of people present in the church of Larissa might pro- 
bably exceed five hundred. The female part of the audience was 
Mtuated in a gallery secluded from observation, as is usual in the 
Greek churches, by a dose grating of wooden bars. At the close of 
the service^ which continued nearly two hours, we returned with the 
Ardibishop to his house, where he exliibited to us the robes which he 
wears in the church on days of festival. These were extremely splen- 
did, or even gorgeous in their decorations ; particularly the mitre, in 
.which are set some beautiful rubies and sapphires, amidst a profusion 
of gold embroidery. The story of Adam and Eve, worked in gold 
lace with pearls on one of the robes, gave rise to one or two comi- 
ments on this subject from the Archbishop, which a little surprize^ 
me. • 

• In the course of this moming, as well as after dinner, the hquse of 
the Archbishop was filled with people ; approaching him either as 
petitioners, or to obtain an adjustment of differences. On entering 
the apartment, each person knelt before him, kissed his hand^ and 
frequently after rising, repeated this ceremony a second time. The 
Archbishop's manner, in fulfilling this part of his pastoral office, was 
mild and ingratiating^ without any loss of the dignity proper to his 



^ Velara and Lucas both dined and supped with us to-day. The 
conversation of the former continued to exhibit the same mixture of 
Vitelligence and stoical humour, which iHxuck me in our first interview 


with him. Speakihg of the state of modem Athens^ I enquired 
whetiber we might still find there Academics, Stoics, and Peripatetics. 
*^ i know of neither Academics or Stoics,'^ said Velara, " but every 
«Greek of these times is a Peripatetic/' Conversing on the character 
of the modem Greeks, he observed, " they are a people with whom 
self-interest has the first place, religion the second/' Yet Velara, 
while complaining of the weakness and submissiveness of his country- 
men, resembled the other Greeks we had met with, in his disposition 
to extol the genius of this people ; and to complain of llie neglect 
they experienced from the civilized communities of Europe* He 
characterized the present political sentiment of the Greeks, as 
dividing them into three classes ; all seeking a change of condition, 
but seeking it in different ways. Hie insular and commercial Greeks, 
and those of the Morea, attached themselves to the idea of liberation ' 
through England ; a second party, in which be included many of 
thdir literary men and continental merchants, looked to the then 
existing power of France, as a more probable means of deliverance ; 
wbile the lower classes, and those most attached to their national 
religion, were anxious to receive the Russians as their liberators. 
This distinction as to the state of opinion in Greece is certainly well 
founded. Its discussion led us into a long argument upon the conv 
parative merits of the ancient Greeks and the civilized nations of 
modern Europe ; in the progress of which Vdara shewed an accu« 
rate understanding of the ancient authors, and a powerful feeling of 
enthusiasm for the former glories of his country. The occasional 
reference from these topics to llie present degradation of Greece, was 
made with a mixed tone of melancholy and satire, which illustrated 
the character of the man, and did not ill accord with the nature of 
the subject. 

. In the course of this and other conversations, I found Velara a 
man. of various learning, and well instructed both in physical and 
metaphysical science. He has the repute, and I believe deservedly, 
of being the first botanist in Greece. His knowledge of the progress 
of chemistry, I found to extend to as late a period as the discovery 


of the metallic bases of the alkalies ; on which subject, and on others 
connected with chemical science, he was solicitous in asking ques- 
tions, and ingenious in the remarks with which he accompanied 
them. It appeared that he had thought much on the various topics 
of metaphysics and morals, and his conversation on those subjects 
bore the same tone of satirical scepticism, which was appar^it as 
the general feature of his opinions. We spoke of the questions of 
materialism and necessity ; on both which points, afta some remarks 
which shewed him intimate with the history and merits of these con- 
troversies, he declared an affirmative opinion. Vdara^s poetical 
talent is not inferior to his attainments in literature and science ; and 
though I bjiow of nothing which he has hitherto published, the merit 
-of scHne manuscript pieces of Romaic poetry has procured him much 
reputation among his countrymen. A few specimens of his compo*' 
sition I procured from himself, or obtained at loannina and Tri-* 
politza. Some of these are amatory, but conceived in an epigram- 
matic form ;^ others satirical or humourous. I had an occasicm of 
noticing his poetical fecility, in ^ving him one or two passages of 
English poetry through the medium of the ItaUan ; which a very 
few minutes sufficed to restore to us in Romaic verse. He expressed 
the same opinion respecting the poems of Christopulo, which we 
had before received from tiie Greeks of loannina, and spoke of them 
as an ornament to the modem literature of his country. 

Connected with these endowments of knowledge and taste, there 
is in the character of Velara that stoical humour to which I have 
already alluded ; occasionally passing into an air of loftiness and 
pride, which might better have been suited to the old times of 
Grecian liberty than to these of modern degradation. I am dis- 
posed to attribute to this temper of mind, a circumstance, which was 
surprising to me in a man thus acute and intelligent,-^ an assumption 
of indifference as to the condition and progress of other countries^ 
and little expression of interest in the anecdotes which conversation 
jiuggested on these subjects. With the exception of certain questions 
upon the state of medicine and chemistry in England^ ^^^^^^ made 

N N- 2 


few enquiries, and seemed studiously to repress any movement of 
curiosity. The same feeling, though in a minor degree, I have 
observed in several other Greeks of literary character ; and I cannot 
otherwise attribute it, than to that indefinite mixture of pride and 
shame with which they regard the fortunes of their country. 

I venture to place before the reader these personal details, be- 
cause I consider Joannes Velara- to be one of the best examples 
of the modem literary Greek ; superior, indeed, to most of his 
countrymen in acquirements, and stronger perhaps in the colouring 
of his character; but nevertheless exhibiting well, all the more 
decided national features of this peo{de. His reputation is very con- 
siderable, and on various occasions I have heard his name cited 
by Greeks, with a sentiment of pride, which may be pardoned in its 
origin, and justified in the real merits of the object. 

Velara, as I have before mentioned, is a native of loannina, but 
Larissa itself has produced several Greeks, who have done honour to 
their country at the present period. Amongst the first of these, may 
be mentioned Gonstantine Kouma, who now occupies ^ situation as 
one of the principal masters in the Greek college at Smyrna. Kou- 
ma's most important work is one in eight volumes, on the mathe- 
matical and physical sciences, published at Vienna about seven 
years ago*. It. contains dissertations on the several branches of 
mathematics, and separate treatises on astronomy, mechanics, hydro- 
statics, optics, chemistry, electricity, &c. which on examination 
appeared to me extremely well composed. Kouma has also trans^ 
lated Adet's work on chemistry. The Romaic translation of JLol 
Gaille's work on Conic Sections was executed by Gonstantine 
Michael, a native of Larissa. 

At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 33d, Veli Pasha again sent for 
us to the Seraglio. We found the adjoining areas crowded. wi(b 
soldiers and horses, covered with superb trappings ; and observed 

PASHU BEY. g^'y 

a sort orthrone, erected in the gallery of the Seraglio^ which fronts 
the principal area. On enquiry^ we learnt that the Firman of the 
Grand Signor, constituting Veli Pasha the Vizier of Thessaly, was 
to be brought into the city this day, and publicly read before the 
palace, with the accustomed forms. While we were with the Viaier^ 
the procession set out amidst the shouts of soldiers, and the sounds^ 
of Turkish music, to meet the couriers who were bringing the Firman; 
to the city. At one o'clock it was read aloud in the area of the 
palace ; Veli Pasha sitting upon the throne in the gallery, and the 
ceremony being preceded and followed by the discharge of a. few: 

When we arrived at the Seraglio this morning, Veli Pasha wacr 
still in his baths ; and we sat some time with two of his: principal 
ministers, Pashu Bey, and Achmet Bey, Turks of high rank, who have 
been long attached to his service. The latter of these I have already 
noticed, as present at the time of our first interview with Veli Pasha* 
The character of Pashu Bey was reported to us from various quarierS| 
as that of an able but intriguing man, who had acquired much influ-| 
ence over the mind of Veli, and was about to strengthen his interest « 
by ntiarrying his ds^ughter to one of the sons of the latter. This 
ii^uence, it was rumoured, he had so applied as to provoke the angec 
of All Pasha ; and the rumour, which at this moment I heard with, 
little interest, was powerfully renewed to my memory, when the 
intelligence came to me at Zante some months afterwards, that a 
minister of Veli Pasha's had been assassinated within the very waUs 
of his master's Seraglio. I did not learn the name of the person 
who thus perished ; but if Pashu Bey, ihe anecdote we heard of 
his political situation at Larissa, were probably well founded. 

These Turkish ministers of Veli were sitting in an apartment^ little 
inferior to that in which we had visited the Pasha. Coffee and piptis 
were handed to us by their attendants ; and while smoking, Pashti 
Bey, who was more actively loquacious than is usual among Turks, 
asked numerous questions regarding the present state of England, 
its population, and naval and military power. 'Ijhis conversation led 



him to exhibit to us a manuscript Turkish history of the Ottoman* 
emperors^ with illuminated portraits of each of these princes. This 
manuscript, the execution of which was certainly beautiful, was set 
before us with a pompous air of self-satisfaction, on the part of Pashu 
Bey, whose object seemed chiefly to be the exhibition of his own 
knowledge of Turkish history. He continued Iiis anecdotes and 
comments upon these portraits till we were summoned to the apart- 
ment of the Vizier. 

We found VeM Pasha smoking on his couch, and two of his sons 
sitting near him ; the same young boys we had met in the area of 
the Seraglio two days before. The eldest, Mahomed Pasha, has an 
uncommonly fine and spirited countenance, and his future talent will 
probably not discredit the remarkable iamily to which he belongs; 
But the education of these boys is unfortunately limited by the 
customs and prejudices of their country ; and riding, field sports, and 
smoking form, as it would seem, the chief occupation and accom* 
plishments of their youth. Veli Pasha received us with the same 
pdliteness of daneanour as in our former interview, and conversed for 
some time on indifferent subjects with equal gracefulness of manner. 
His sons, who continued in the apartment during this time, did upt 
speak, but listened and gazed upon us with much seeming intentness. 
After this I remained with the Pasha more than half an hour in 
consultation upon his complaints, of which I had before heard little 
from himself. Lucas and Teriano were both present, and the con- 
versation was carried on partly by their aid, partly by my own under- 
standing of Veli's broken Itahan and purer Romaic. Provided with 
the history of his case, as well from his several physicians, as from 
himself, he expressed his desire that I would give my opinion in 
writing upon its nature and treatment, as I had previously done to 
Ali Pasha. This opinion I ofiered to give him immediately ; but 
ijnderstanding that we wished to extend our journey northwards to 
Salonica, before proceeding towards Athens, Veli Pasha urged me 
strongly to return by way of Larissa, that I might again observe the 
|>rogres8 of his complaints ; and desired that I should delay com- 


mitting my opinion to writing till the last time I might be with him* 
To this proposal I had nothing to object, and it was finally arranged 
that we should leave Larissa the following day, with a Tartar of Veli 
Pasha's, who would convey us lo Salonica, and thence return with 
us to Larissa. Requesting the Pasha to give us letters to Yusuf Bey^ 
the governor of Salonica, I observed a seeming hesitation on this 
subject, which was afterwards explained by the information^ that 
Yusuf is the son of Ishmael Bey of Seres, a man of extensive local 
authority, biit equally dreading and detesting the family of his more 
powerful neighbour, the Vizier of Albania. Nevertheless Veli Pasha 
gave us the letter desired, which, as the event proved, was of no 
avail in assisting our progress. His connection by marriage with 
the fiEunily of Ishmael Bey has already been noticed ; but when the 
miatrimonial alliances of Europe afford so little lasting security for 
the peace of nations, they cannot be expected to maintain harmony 
in a country where polygamy is licensed, and where local govern-^ 
ments are so irregular and ill-<lefined. 

Before I left the Seraglio, Pashu Bey consulted me upon his com** 
plaints, of which he gave me a long and formal narrative. It was 
evident that they were of little importance ; but he would not be 
satisfied without some medicines being ordered for him, and I was 
obliged, to a certain extent, to comply with his desire. 

The remainder of our stay at Larissa was pleasantly occupied in 
examining the environs of the city; and in a continuance of our 
intercourse with the physicians of the Pasha. Signore Teriano, who 
had been with- Vdi in his late campaign against the Russians, gave 
us some interesting anecdotes on this subject, chiefly illustrative of 
the inefficacy of the Turkisb war£u*e in opposing the progress of 
disciplined armies. His description of the ^ appearance of the 
Aibanian soldiery in battle, was lively and accurate; their crowded 
and irregular masses, the manner in which they were incited to 
advance, by the bravery of individuals or detached bodies throwing, 
themselves fM'wards upon the enemy ; their successive impulses and 


recessions ; and the confusion and disorder of their final retreat from 
the field. 

Lucas was to leave Larissa two days after our departure, to resume 
his attendance upon Ah Pasha at loannina. I availed myself of this 
occasion to fulfil my promise of writing to the Vizier, narrating to 
him the events of our journey, and enforcing some of the medical 
directions which I had already given him, while we remained in 
his capital. n 

Our residence at Larissa, and excursions in its vicinity, afforded 
the opportunity of many general observations on the character of thiif 
portion of modern Greece- 

The plains surrounding Larissa have the same character of fertility 
which distinguishes the other parts of Thessaly • Indian com, wheats 
and tobacco, are abundantly grown iq this district, and large flocks 
of sheep feed in the country which stretches towards the mountains 
on the northern boundary of the plain. As is the case in the upper 
parts of Thessaly, the habitations are generally collected into towns 
or villages, a circumstance which certainly lessens the facility of 
cultivation, but which may possibly be required for security in thq 
present state of the country. The capabilities are great throughout 
the whole of this fine province ; and it would not be easy to fix a 
limit to the amount and variety of produce which might be raised 
from its surface. A fine alluvial soil, the deposit of ages, is spread 
over the greater portion of these plains. Tradition accords with 
external appearances, in giving a testimony that they once were 
covered with water, and it is impossible to look down upon Thessaly 
from any of its mountain boundaries^ without inclining strongly to 
this opinion. Excq)ting the passage through Tempe, the barrier i^ 
every-where perfect to this great tract of level country, and the fancy 
easily pictures it as a vast lake, stretching with a wide swe^^ from 
a)t)ove Trikala, to the eastern boundary^ on the side of Tempe. On 
this subject more will be ^aid hereafter. * 
^. In their present state the plain? of Thessaly form one of the qiost 


productive districts of the Grecian peninsula, and their annual 
produce in grain of different kinds, cotton, silk, wool, rice, anci 
tobacco, allows a very large amount of r^ular export from the 
province. The cultivation by the Thessalian peasants is not deficient 
in skill or neatness. The circumstances by which the amount of 
produce might be increased, are chiefly perhaps of a more general 
nature, — a better form of government ; greater security to private 
property ; a more uniform distribution of the inhabitants ; and ' the 
prevention of those monopolies in the export of grain, which have 
hitherto been exercised by the Turkish rulers of the country. 

It is almost equally difficult as in Albania, to estimate the modem 
population of Thessaly, and thereby to ordain a comparison with the 
ancient condition of this district. Independently of the cities of 
Larissa and Trikala, the villages on the plain are numerous and well 
peopled ; and though it might perhaps be difficult now to covmt the 
five and fifly towns which are assigned by Pliny to the ancient 
Thessaly ♦, yet, reckoning these villages, the number would probably 
be very nearly obtained. It is true, indeed, that the population, 
at present, is confined to these towns or villages, and that the 
single cottage of the peasant is rarely seen in this district : there 
i3 reason, however, to believe that the case was nearly the same in 
former times. The Thessalians are described bv various writers as a 
people peculiarly liable to anarchy and tumult ; and Plutarch gives 
a strong expression to this repute, in saying, ^^ that it is impossible to 
obtain repose in Thessaly, unless you are buried there.'' It may be 
supposed that the effect of internal factions and war, in lessening the 
security . of property, would be equivalent to that of the tyranny 
which now oppresses the country; and its influence the same in 
preventing the distribution of the peasantry over the soil. Though I 
may believe, then, that the plains of Thessaly were more populous in 
ancient than in modern times, yet I do not imagine that the differ- 

M I 

* PliiL Hist Nat Lib.iv. cap. 8. 

o o 



ence was of very great amount ; and in admitting the statements 
which have come down to us of the force of the Thessalian armies, I 
should consider that this was principally an effect of the warUke and 
turbulent spirit of the people, which has just been noticed. 

I know not that the modem population of Thessaly retains, in any 
remarkable degree, the features of the ancient inhabitants of this 
region. Their warlike spirit has unquestionably now subsided into 
all the tameness of slavery, except only in some districts, which will 
hereafter be mentioned, near Mount Pelion, and the gulph of Volo. 
It does not appear. that the present race of Thessalians exhibit that 
fondness for splendid dress, for which .their ancestors were distin- 
guished ; nor would it be easy, considering the proportion of Turkish 
population here, to satisfy this propensity, even if it did exist. 

Thessaly derives importance not only from the raw produce of its 
plains, but likewise from the considerable cotton manufacture which 
has been spoken of at Tornavo, and which occupies the population 
of several other towns and villages. Under a better government, 
these manufactures would doubtless be capable of great extension. 

( 283 ) 






AT noon, on the 24th of November, we quitted the house of the 
Archbishop of Laxissa, and commenced our journey towards 
the ancient Macedonia. Our loahnina Tartar, Osmyn, having busi- 
ness to transact at Salonica, to the north of the gulph of Corinth, it 
was agreed that he should perform this expedition during our absence 
from Larissa, rejoining us at this place on our return from Salonica. 
The Tartar, Sulema,. whom Veli Pasha appointed as our present guide, 
was a man of different appearance ; more sumptuous in his apparel, 
but mild or even effeminate in his aspect, and much less active and 
imposing than his predecessor. We augured ill of him in the outset, 
from the wretchedness of the post-horses which he procured for us at 
Larissa ; and this first impression was only in part redeemed by the 
quiet good-nature of the man in the after-progress of his service. 
- Our party, in leaving Larissa, was ftirther increased by a Dervish 
travelling to Salonica, and by another Turk who was taking the san^e 
route. The Dervish belonged, as I believe, to the class of these refo- 
gkux called the Bektashis : his dress was that most common among 
the Dervishes, — a long cloke made. of coarse white woollen, and on 
his head a tall white cap, in form nearly resembling that worn by the 
Tartars. His. beard was of remarkable length : though sanctified by 
his character, he wore pistols in his girdle, while over his shoulders 
was suspended a long leathern case containing a mandoUn^ which we 
afterwards found to be a most important part of his travelling equi^ 

op 9 


page. Though his exterior had something of uncouth wildness, his 
manner was gay, good-hmnoured, and civil ; he seemed to court an 
intercourse with us, and sought to beguile the way by the chaunting of 
Turkish songs, a species of music which more engaged the ear by 
loudness than by harmony. 

Our first stage was to Amphilochia, a town situated near the western 


entrance of the defiles of Tempe, about twenty miles from Larissa. 
The Peneus, or Salympria, after long pursuing its tranquil course 
through the plains of Thessaly^ appears at last as if arrested in its pro* 
gress ; and the eye, carried vaguely along the mountain range, which 
forms the eastern boundary of these plains, sees no opening through 
which the river may find its passage. From the loftier heights of 
OlymptiS) at the northern extremity of this boundary, descends a 
groupe of mountains which seems as if connected with the devation 
of Ossa ; while from this latter mountain other heights stretch towards 
the south, even as far as Pelion and the Pelasgic Gulph. A more 
accurate observation shews an opening in this boundary, in the inter^ 
val between Olympus and Ossa ; and through this defile, which is the 
celebrated Tempe, the Salympria pursues its dark and contracted 
course towards the sea. From Larissa to the entrance of the Tempe, 
the river flows in a north-east direction, and the great route to Mace* 
donia seeks the same point, as the only exit on this side from the 
plains of Thessaly . 

As we proceeded on our road, the views of Olympus and Ossa 
became each moment more interesting. The form of the latter moun- 
tain, now called Kissavo, as it is seen from this side, has some resem^ 
blance to that of Arthur's Seat, near Edinburgh ; its outline being 
conical, with the ascending sides somewhat concave, and a single 
summit. The height of Ossa I have no means of stating, except 
by surmise. From the distance at which I afterwards saw it, 
when at sea, I should conjecture that its elevation is little less than 
4000 feet. Its relation in foi-m and position to Olympus, as seen 
from this point, explains, to the eye at least, the old feble of the 
Giant's putting Ossa upon Pelion to war against Jupiter. 



The hilly country along the skirts of the latter mountain was 
jfOrmerly inhabitedi^ a tribe of Perrhaebii, seemingly allied in origin 
to those of the Pindus chain *. Two or three large towns are found 
in this district, of which the principal is Elasson, distant about eight 
hours journey from Larissa. It contains a population of 6000, partly 
Turkish, partly Greek, with several mosques and churches. This 
town stands on the site of Olooson, a place noted by several ancient 
writers for the property its soil had of giving a white colour, — an effect 
probably of some compound of clay and decomposed calcareous or 
magnesian rock.-f- 

When advanced a few miles from Larissa, keeping the Salympria 
on our left hand, we arrived at an extensive morass which the road 
traverses by a paved causeway. This marsh » was probably the Lake 
Neson of ancient Thessaly, mentioned by Strabo as one of his autho* 
rities for believing that this country was once covered with water^ 
before the opening of Tempo had afforded an egress to the sea. Ja 
former times, as at present, it appears to have been flooded only when 
the Peneus, with which it had communication, was swelled by rains^ 
Beyond this morass, the plain, which is here broken by low eminences, 
exhibits a surface covered with fragments, chiefly of primitive rock, 
gneiss, mica, slate, marble, quartz, chalcedony, &c. These frag<^ 
meats of primitive slate I imagine to be derived from the hills border^* 
ing the plain on its northern side, which hills are connected in one 
range with those behind Zarko, already mentioned as affording 
similar fragments. In a distant view of this range, which I afl«w 
wards obtained from Thomoko, on the southern boundary of the 
plains, I found farther reason to believe, from the general outline of 
the hills, that they are chiefly composed of primitive slate rocks. 
They do not s^pear to attain any great elevation, untii rising towards 
their eastern extremity into the heights of Olympus. 

* Hon. iHad. fib.ii. 749. 

f Homer (IL lil^iL ^29^tslBB it OXvou'^pm Aivxi}*. 


The sun had already set before we reached the opening of Tempe, 
and we saw obscurely through the shades of evening, the precipitous 
outline of cliffs and lofty eminences . approaching each other, and 
gradually contracting the width of the valley. There is an extreme 
beauty in the scenery, which is thus intermediate between the 
expanded plains of Larissa and the rocky defile forming the interior 
of Tempe. It is wild, irregular, a'^d abounding in precipilous forms, 
yet is divested of harshness by \l luxuriance of foliage, and by the 
softness of the vallies and openings which intervene among these lofty 
eminences. The river pursues a tranquil course along the lower part 
of the valley, flowing underneath the spreading shade of plane-trees, 
and here and there expanding to encircle with its stream some little 
islet covered with wood. Several villages and hamlets are seen in the 
most picturesque situations at this western entrance of Tempe, some 
of them inhabited by Greek, others by Turkish population. In 
ancient times, Gonnos, Elone, and other towns stood in this district ; 
and here also the Eurotas, or Titaresius, entered the Peneus from the 
mountains under Olympus, a stream mentioned by Homei* and other 
writers as remarkable for the oleaginous quality of its waters, which 
prevented their mingling immediately with those of the Peneus. I 
observed, through the dusk of the evening, what I imagine to be the 
valley of this stream, which however, I believe, has been little explored 
by the modern traveller.* 

The small village and Khan of Baba are situated on the southern 

bank of the Salympria, where the river is about to enter its more con- 

. tructed channel, formed by precipitous mountain-cliffs. The traveller, 

* Homer, who calls it the Titaredus, (U. lib. ii. 751.) after describing the immiscibility 
of its waters, adds, 

See also Plin. Hist Nat lib. iv. c. 8. Seneca, in his <* Naturales Questiones," speaks of the 
noxious quality of the oleaginous matter brought down by this river. Is it not probably 
naptha, or some bituHiinous substance which is here described? 



with whom time is a stronger motive than curiosity, may either pass 
the night here, or pursue his way forward through the straits of 
Tempe. Those who are solicitous to survey the various features in 
the population of the country, will do well to deviate from the direct 
route in ascending to the town of Amphilochia, placed in a most extra-^ 
ordinary situation on the face of the mountain, which here forms the 
southern boundary of the valley. This mountain, connected in the 
same line with the cliffs of Tempe, may be considered as part of that 
groupe of which the cone of Ossa is the central and loftiest part. It 
presents a steep and broken front, elevated into ridges^ or receding in 
deep hollows and ravines. The town stands on this irregular ascent, 
its lower part being more than 600 feet above the level of the river 
beneath. The number of houses is said not to exceed five or six 
hundred, but these, even more than is usual in the towns of this 
country, are dispersed over a wide extent of surface ; and, in insulated 
situations, surrounded by trees, or separated by ravines, extend >iar 
upwards on the accli\dty of the mountain. An irregular cork-screw 
road, in some places cut in the rock, in others carried along the 
channel of mountain-torrents, conducts the ascent of the traveller 
from Baba to Amphilochia. Entirely benighted before we reached 
the former places there was extreme difficulty and some danger. in 
accomplishing this ascent.' Notwithstanding the light of torches 
which some peasants carried before us, we twice lost our way among 
the deep hollows ^^hich intersect the .hill, and were each moment 
apprehensive of falling over the cliffs which border on the road. 
Tins misfortune agtually occurred to one of the luggage-horses, and 
our guides found it necessary to leave the poor animal to his fate, 
afler they had succeeded, with great difficulty, in taking off his load. 
We did not reach Amphilochia till a late hour, and were prevented by 
this cause from seeking admittance into the Greek house to which we 
were recommended. Our night's lodging was taken up in a miser- 
able building, which afforded us nothing but bare walls and straw 
mats, with a scanty allowance of fire-wood. The approach of winter, 


and the elevated site of Amphilochia, rendered the last article one of 

The morning of the 25th was wet and gloomy, but at intervals, 
through the clouds which enveloped us^ we saw the remarkable cha- 
racter of the town. Nothing can be more picturesque than the 
various groupes of buildings which compose it. Rising from out 
thick foliage of woods, or overhanging the deep ravines of the moun* 
tain, their open galleries and projecting roofs render the effect of 
situation still more singular and imposing to the eye. The oak, oh ve, 
cypress, &c. are spread over the broken surface on which the town 
stands, and intermixed with the foliage of vineyards, while the loftier 
ridges of the mountain, receding towards the south, are covered with 
jbng rows of pines. A few of the houses are built and furnished in 
the European manner. 

Amphilochia is interesting in its population as well as in the scenery 
which surrounds it. It inhabitants are almost exclusively Greeks, 
and what may seem singular in a place thus situated, have been noted 
for some years past for the extent of their commercial undertakings, 
and for a character of active inteUigeixce and enterprize which has 
procured them a high repute among the communities of modem 
Greece. Most of the merchants of Amphilochia have visited or 
resided in the great commercial cities of the continent, and esta* 
blished connections there, the extent and success of which are testi* 
fied in the wealth many of them have acquired. These connections 
are chiefly with Germany, but also with Constantinople, Smyrna^ 
and other places of trade in the Levant. The commerce of the place 
has its basis in manufacture ; and the population of the town, like 
that of Tornavo, and other places in the surrounding country, is 
actively engaged in the various processes of making and dydng 
cotton thread, the staple commodity of the country. A great part of 
the cottons grown in the plains of Thessaly are brought to this disr- 
trict for the use of its manufacturers. It has been estimated that the 
town of Amphilochia furnishes annually about 3000 bales of dyed 


cotton diread, each bale bdug calculated at 2dO lbs. Of diis quan^ 
tity nearly the whole is transmitted by land carriage to Germany ; a 
traffic which is well regulated, and carried on with much activity by 
the Amphilochian merchants*^ 

It may be added regarding the inhabitants of this town, that while 
thus reputed in tl^r commercial character, they hare acquired much 
respect from their general cultivation of mind ; and from the aids 
they hav« afforded to the literature of their country. There i$ a 
considerable Gredi school here, which is said to be in a flourishing 

Though Amphilochia, if I am rightly informed, is a part of the 
private property of Ali Faslia, the Amphilochians enjoy a comparative 
exemption from the evils of slavery, while their countrjrmen at 
Larissa suffer under the perpetual oppressions of their Turkish 
masters. These local difierences of condition are frequent in Turkey ; 
aad occur iti general as an effect of its irregular government, and of 
the amount of authority conferred on, or assumed by the provincial 
rulers ; which renders their personal character of much more im- 
portance to the welfare of the population, than where power 
depends upon laws, and emanates directly from one sotlrce. The 
jnechanical adherence of the Turk to habits once fomied, is another 
cause of this variety ; and a third, of still more influence, is the dif-i 
f^ent proportion their numbers bear to those of the Greeks in 
the several towns and districts of the empire. Of some places the 

* The Gredc method of giving what 11 caUed the Turkey Red is bri 
The cottons are first eiposed to three leys of soda, ashes, and lime^ mixed in nearly equal 
quantities, then foDows a soda bath, which is repeated three Or four times, and firom 
which the cottons come out perfectly bleached. The galling and aluming are next in suc- 
cession employed; the latter process being generally repeated twice^ with an inteiVid of 
two di^s : a smaU quantity of soda is usually added to Ae iduminous solutioiL To give 
the %e) madder-root is employed, with a small proportion of sheep's blood, whieh is sup- 
posed to strengthen the colour. Finally, abath alcaliaed with soda is used to perfisct the 
dye, this ley being made to boil till the colour takes its proper tint: this is of course a 
delicate part of the process. 

P P 


population is principally Mahommedan ; of others, exclusively Chris^ 
tian, and this more entire separatfon of the two communities is by 
no means unconmion in the villages and small towns throughout 
Greece. In larger towns, the population is usually of a mixed 
character ; and here, the relation of Turks and Greeks depends in 
part upon the numbers of each class ; the more active and cultivated 
^nius of this latter people giving them a facility in eluding or 
opposing the sluggish tyranny of the Turks, and this facility being 
increased by their numerical sti^ngth. Where the population is 
wholly Greek, there is a still further exemption from the direct evils 
of personal oppression ; the indolence and uniformity of the Turkish 
character affording a local limitation to its effects, and counteract^ 
ing in some degree the influence of power. This last circumstance 
is probably one of the causes of the condition of the Amphilochians^ 
who, being amidst the heights of Mount Ossa, and forming in them^ 
selves an exclusive society of Greeks, preserve a greater degree of 
personal freedom than their countrymen in the plains below. Much 
more, however, in this instance may be attributed to the commerdal 
character of the people ; creating here, as elsewhere, those habits of 
independant activity, which are more successful than any other in 
opposing the efforts of a despotic rule. It may be remarked, too,, 
that the merchants of this place, from their direct connection with 
continental houses, obtain in some degree a foreign protection to 
their industry, which is further sheltered by the advantage the 
Turkish proprietors themselves derive from it, in the ready disposal 
of their produce. Amphilochia, it is true, is situated within the 
power of All Pasha ; but the oppressive vigilance of his despotism 
is lessened in this part of his tenitory ; and the Amphilochian merr 
chants are called upon to fewer sacrifices and less degradation than 
the commercial Greeks on the Albanian side of Pindus. 

While awaiting in the gallery of our lodging some change in the 
state of the weather, one of the Greeks of Amphilochia came in to 
visit us. He was a merchant, and a man of respectable appear- 
ance ; had travelled much in Germany, and spoke the continental 



languages with fluency. He remained with us half an hour, and 
gave us some interesting infonnation as td the stace of the town attd 
of the surrounding districts. The Greek is uniforteily social in his 
habits, and the travelled Greek more especially sedks the intercourse 
of Europeans, with an eagerness proportionate to the change he has 
felt between the society of civilizied communities) and the diill, uti* 
varying round of Turkish existence. 

Though it was a part of our projected day's journey to pass 
through the Vale of Tempe, yet we were compelled to set out under 
the obscurity of a small rain ; consoling ourselves With the possibility 
that we might be more fortunate in returning towards Larissa. From 
the heights of Amphilochia we desceiided slowly into the valley, 
reaching the banks of the river, where it enters the deep ravine, 
which conducts it towards the sea. Looking generally at the nar* 
rowness and abruptness of this mountain-channel, and contrasting 
it with the course of the Peneus, through the plains of Thessaly, 
the imagination instaiitiy recurs' to the tradition, that these plains 
were once covered with water, for which some convulsions of nature 
had subsequently opened this narrow passage. The term t^o/e, in 
our language, is usually employed to describe scenery, in which 
the predominant .features are breadth, beauty, and repose. T^e 
reader has already perceived that the term is wholly inapplicable to 
the scenery at this spot ; and that l^e phrase of Vale of Tempt is one 
that depends on poetic fiction, ignorantly selecting the materials of 
descriptive allusicm, and conveying an innocent error to the imagi- 
nation of the modern reader. The real character of Tempe, thou^ 
it perhaps be less beautiful, yet possesses .more of magnificence than 
is implied in the epithet ^ven to Jt. ^ The features of nature are 
often best described by comparison ; and to those who have visited 
St. Vincent^s Rocks below Bristol, I cannot convey a more sufficient 
idea of Tempe, than by saying that its scenery resembles, though on a 
much larger scale, that of the former place. The Peneus indeed, 
as it flows through the valley, is not greatly wider than the Avon ; 
and the channel between the cliffs is equally contracted in its 

F p 2 


dimenaions; but these cliffs themseWes are much loAier and more 
precipitous; and {project tb^r vast masses of rock witii still' more 
extraordinary abruptness over the hollow beneath. 

The length of this remarkable gulph* from west to east is nearly 
five miles; its direction in this distance varying but little from a 
straight line. It» breadth is varied by the projection or recession tff 
the cliffs ; but there are places in which the bed of the river occupies 
the whole space between the rocks ; and where the interval firom the 
base of one cliff to that on the other side cannot exceed 200 feet, 
and possibly may be still less-f*. In these places, and indeed 
throughout a great part of the extent of Tempe, the road is carried 
over and alcmg the ledges of the clifis ; sometimes seeming to over^ 
hang the river ; then receding to seek a passage across the ravines 
which descend from the mountain. Livy well describes this sin-** 
gular route, -r- ^^ Rupes utrinque ita abscisses sunt, ut despici vix 
sine vertigine quadam simul oculorum animique possit. Terret et 
sonitus et altiUido per ^mediam vallem flueatis Penei aranis/' 

Of the height of the cliffs of Tempe, I cannot speak otherwise 
than ^ra surmise. Those on the north side, about the middle of 
the pass, are : undoubtedly the highest ; and here they appear to rise 
from six to eight hundred feet above the levd of the river; passing 
more gradually afterwards into the mountain-heights to the soutii of 
Olympus, of yrhich they may be considered to form the base. To* 
wards the lower> part of Tonpe, these diffk are peaked in a very 
singular manner, and form projecting angles on the vast perp^idicular 
fiices of rock, which they present towards the chasm. Where the 
sur&'Ce renders it possible, the summits and ledges of the rocks are 
for the most part covered with small wood, chiefly oak, with the 
arbutus and other shrubs. On the banks of the river, wherever there 

speaks of Ae gulph of Tempe, as being 40 stadia; Livy and Quintus Coitiiis 
both state it to be about five miles. 

' f iE3ian states the breadth in some places not to exceed a pletkrwnj or about 100 ftet * 
Var. Hist. lib. ui. i. 

VAht OF TEMBE. 2§8 

18 a small inberveU between the water and the clifis, it is eorered bj 
the rich and widely««preading fotiage of the plane, the oak, and other 
forest trees, which in these situations have attained a remarkable si^e^ 
and in various places extend their shade far over the channel of the 
stream. The ivy winding round many of them may bring to the 
mind of the traveller the beautiful and accurate description of JBlian, 
who has done more justice to the scenery of Tempe than any other 
writer of ' antiquity. 

The Peneus, thus secluded alike by the vast clifis which overhang 
the valley, and by the trees bordering on its waters, pursues it course 
through Tempe, a full and rapid stream^ Kttle internqf>ted in its 
progress, though flowing between rocks so rude and precipitous in 
their forms. Ovid's description of it, in his story of lo, is well 
known : — 

" Spumosis volvitur undis, 

Dejectuque gravi tenues agitantia fumos 
Nubila conducit, summasque aspergine silvas 
Impluit, et sonitu plusquam vicina fatigat.*' * 

At the time I was in Tempe, though the river had been somewhat 
sweUed by rains, there was little of this impetuous violence, but a 
deep and steady current, capable (as was the case also in former 
times) of being safely navigated throughout the whole extent of the 
defile* At this period of wintry floods, the water of the river did not 
shew that clearness for which the Peneus was celebrated by the 
^ciemte*!*, but the streams descending to it from ravines of the 

' * Ovid. Metam. lib. i. 578. — ^ See also the istory of Diqilifie and ApoUo; the scene of 
which is laid in Tempe. Homer gtrea the epifthiet ctagyvfAni to the Peneii% as it tUm$ 
through Tempe. Iliad lib. iL 753: 

f Pliny (lib. iv. cap. S.), in speaking of the rivers of Thessaly, says, ^ ante cunctos 
daritate Peneus.'' 

Bf^a^ol^ wfof Ilifytioy. Mu* Tyr. Dissert inoL p. 8i. Tliis perhaps rdatesi however, to 
the scenery on the banks of the river. 



mountains, or breaking out suddenly from natural basins in the rock, 
had a purity which might well suggest the metaphor of nymphs 
presiding over their waters. 

About the middle of the pass on its southern side, and to the right 
of the road, are some high ruined walls, composed in part of Roman 
bricks ; and on a cliff which impends over this spot, stand the remains 
of an ancient castle, one of those fortresses by which art assisted 
nature in defending this important passage *. Just below these ruins 
• a stream enters the Peneus from the heights of Ossa, the scenery near 
the junction of which is very extraordinary ; a vast semicircular 
basin being formed by the cliffs surrounding it, which are evary* 
where perpendicular as walls, and of great height. Looking upwards 
among the mountain-precipices on this side, it is difficult to conceive 
the possibility of that march, by which Alexander conveyed his 
army from Macedonia into Thessaly, skirting along the acclivities of 
Ossa to avoid the impediments which the Thessalians opposed to his 
passage through Tempe -f-. At the time of the Persian invasion, the 
Greeks sent a body of 10,000 men, under Evaenetes and Themistocles, 
to defend this entrance into Thessaly ; but on the suggestion that 
another route was. open to Xerxes, over the mountains adjoining 
Olympus, these generals quitted the post, and retired southwards. 
Had they remained here, it is not impossible that Tempe might have 
been another Thermopylae in the page of history. 

The rocks on each side the Vale of Tempe are evidently the same ; 
what may be called, I believe, a coarse blueish grey marble, with 
veins and portions of the rock, in which the marble is of finer quality. 
The front of the cliffs has a general aspect to which the term 
shattered might best be applied; long fissures, both horizontal and 
perpendicular, traversing the rock, so as to give it frequently the 
appearance of being broken into detached masses. In many places 

■ ■ ■■ ' ' » ■ ■ ■ ^ I ■ . . „ — , y 

' r 

* It is probably this castle which livy describes, as *^ viae ipsi, qua et media et angusr- 
lissima vallis est, impositum, quam yel deeem aimatis tueri fadle estK*' 
f See Quints Cult, lib, i. 


iarge hollows and caves have been fonned ; and here the surfece is 
generally much tinged with the oxide of iron. Though it would be 
too much to affirm from the character of the cliffs of Tempe, that 
there is proof of this defile having been formed by a sudden and 
violet natural convulsion, yet their general appearances, as I have 
already remarked, might certainly warrant some belief in the tradi-< 
tionary record of this event, which we have from so many ancient 
writers, Herodotus, in relating the excursion of Xerxes to survey 
the pass of Tempe, notices the belief common among the Thessalians^ 
that Neptune had opened this passage to carry off die waters from 
their country, and states his own opinion that the separation of the 
mountains had been effected by an earthquake*. It is certainly not 
impossible that the latter surmise may be well founded. The fiafbare 
of the tradition points at the event as occurring suddenly ; ancl 
though we can scarcely suppose that the whole depth of the defile 
was thus opened, it may be conceived not unlikely that theconw 
vulsion of an earthquake had the effect of deepening the channel^ 
and thereby of carrying the waters from off the plain. 

The mt^nory of the event, however accomplished, was preserved 
by an annual festival of the ancient towns and villages at the western 
entrance of Tempe, of which we have an interesting description by 
^lian. The fine allusion of Lucan to this subject is well known to 
the classical reader.-f- 

* Lib. vii. cap. 129. In the same spirit of splendid folly, which led to the undertaking at 
Athos, it oceorred to Xerxes, standing at the entrance c^ Tempe, that if the Thessalians 
opposed his progress, their country might again be flooded and destroyed by an artificial 
mound thrown across the defil^ so as to prevent the passage of the Peneas towards the 
sea. The submission of the Thessalians happily prevented this royal outrage upon 

Eustathius, in his Commentary on the 17th Iliad, mentions the clearance of the waters 
from the plain of Hiessaly by the opening of Tempe. 

f Flumina dum campi retinent, nee pervia Tempe , 

Dant ad^tts pelago, stagnumque implentibus undis 
Cresoere cursus erat; postquam discessit Olympok 
Herculea gravis Ossa manu, subitaeque ruinaia 
it aqpias Nireusy &c 



We were extremely unfortunate ifa the day which conducted us 
through the scenery of Tempe. The rain of the morning had coaled, 
but Uie clouds^ still hung heairily upon the mountains, and ha:e and 
there descaaded below the summit of the cliffs which bound the valley. 
The foliage too, though yet exhibiting its autumnal tints, had now lost 
in part that richness and profusion which belong to a less advanced 
time of the year, and the approach of winter shewed itself in all the 
features of the landscape. While our cavalcade was slowly proceed- 
ing down the defile, the Dervish who travelled with us, entertained 
the party by his vociferous Turkish songs, which, in various parts 
of the pass, were echoed back witli singular distinctness from the 
opposing cliffs. The retrospective view of Tempe from its eastern 
extremity is very striking, and scarcely less so the landscape in front, 
offering to the eye a sudden change from this contracted mountain- 
scenery to a wide surface of plain, richly wooded, luxuriant in its 
oiltivation, and terminated in front by the sea.of the Archipelago, 
upon which we now looked for the first time. Had the weather been 
clear, the peninsula of Mount Athos might have been seen from this 
point ;' but at this time we could not even discern the district of the 
ancient Pallene, which lay immediately opposite to us, forming the 
eastern boundary of the gulph of Salonica. 

Leaving the d^les of Tempe, and descending upon the plain, we 
passed to the north side of the river by a horse-ferry, — an unworthy 
substitute for a bridge, half a mile below, which two years since was 
broken down by a winter's flood*. The limits of the ancient 
Macedonia were not very accurately defined either on its Tiiessalian 
or Illyrian frontier; but below Tempe, it seems to have been generally 
considered that the Peneus formed the boundary to its junction with 
the sea ; and in crossing therefore at this ferry, we quitted Thessaly, 
and entered upon a new region -f-. The banks of the river here are 

* When at Athens, I learnt that it was proposed to rebuild this bridge more nearly 
within the entrance of Tempe, and that Baron Haller was to be idtmsted with the design 
and superintendance of the work. 

f Csesar^ however, qpeaks of the Haliacmon as dividing Macedonia firom lliessaly. . 


finely wooded ; and there is much picturesque beauty in the opening 
out of the valley ; though perhaps on the whole^ this approach to 
Tempe is less remarkable in its scenery than that at the western end 
of the pass. A mile or two beyond the ferry, we quitted the direct 
road to the coast, and proceeded northwards to a small town called 
Pyrgetos, situated on the decUvity of .that mountainous tract which 
extends and rises in this direction, towards the central heights of 
Olympus; and in a westerly direction passes into the cli% which 
form the northern boundary of Tempe. At this place we halted for 
the night, but had some difficulty in procuring a lodging ; our present 
Tartar, Sulema, shewing a temper too mild and easy to be the servant 
of such a system as now prevails in Turkey, In entering Pyrgetos, 
we observed four or five small stills at work by the side of the road ; 
the material of distiUation being the raisins of the country, the spirit 
froDi which is used, to a considerable extent, in every part of Greece. 
The interior of the town derived a singular aspcict f rom the galleries 
and area of every habitation being filled with the ears of Indian 
corn, hung upon lines for the purpose of drying them. The produce 
of this grain is very large in the neighbourhood of Pyrgetos. 

The foggy state of the weather concealed from us even the outline 
of the mountains to the north and north-west of this place,*— a circum* 
stance I regretted ; since it was probably by a route over these 
mountains that the Roman army, under Q. M. Philippus, penetrated 
into Macedonia during the war with Perseus, the last King of 
Macedon, when the troops of this prince prevented the passage 
through Tempe. livy gives an interesting account of the extra* 
ordinary difficulties the Romans encountered in traversing this part 
of the Olympus chain, especially in their descent from the mountains 
towards the coast*. The country immediately around Pyrgetos is 
well cultivated, and the adjacent vallies, descending from the moun* 
tains towards the plain, are picturesque, fertile, and populous ; several 

* Lib.x]iy. cd, 7,80:, 


Other small towns or villages entering into the landscape from this 
point of view.* 

On the 26th we proceeded to Litochori, a journey of about six 
hours. For the first few miles, our route was over the plain, at the 
knouth of the Peneus, and tending in a north-east direction towards 
die sea. ^The appearance of this plain is rich and luxuriant in the 
extreme ; and what is uncommon in Greece, it is divided in part by 
small enclosures : it is richly wooded over its whole extent ; the trees 
are chiefly the plane and mulberry, and many of the former remark- 
able for their large and venerable growth. A great part of the plain 
ia occupied in the culture of maize and wheat, which are chiefly con* 
veyed to Salonica for exportation. While in this part of our routes 
we enjoyed a splendid retrospet;tive view of Ossa, and the southern 
boundary of Tempe ; t^e summit of the mountain rising above a 
broad 2one of clouds which hung upon the sides of the .upper ridge. 
Its skirts are intertected by many ravines, one of which, in particular, 
is remarkable for its great depth and abruptness. On the north- 
eastern skirts of &e mountain are several towns ami villages, some 
of considerable size, and almost entirely peopled by Greeks. All 
this country is finely wooded, and much of the timber is carried to 
Salonica for exportation. 

At noon on this day, we stood on the ^ores of the Archipelago^ 
where it runs up to form the deep gulph of Salonica, the Thermaic 
gulph of antiquity. We now saw distinctly the peninsula which 
forms the opposite coast ; and beyond it^ the lofty and singular cone 
of Mount Athos, famous in the annals of despotic foUy. The Peneus, 
after a winding course from Tempe through the plains, enters the sea 
to the south of the spot where we now stood. We had followed the 
progress of this river from its mountainous origin in Pindus, watching 

* There is xeasoii to believe that the rituation of Gyrton, mentiotiecr by Homer and 
Strabo^ nearly corresponded with that of Fyrgetos. The latter writer speaks of it as at the 
foot of Olympus, and near the river Peneus. Lib. 7 — .Was not the Phila of Livy also 
somewhere in this vidnity ? 


tiie gradual inccease <^ its stream, and the various scenery of hills, 
woods, defiles, and plains, through which it has its course. It had 
become in some sort a companion of our journey, and we now quitted 
its banks as if parting from an old friend. 

Coasting the sea for some distwice, we came to the castle of 
Platomana, a large and irr^ular groupe of buildings, surrounded by 
a lofty wall, and situated on a rocky promontory overhanging the 
sea. . A stream flows through a deep channel to the south of this 
promontory, crossing which we entered a pass between the castle 
and the hills to the left. This point is the commencement of that 
narrow stripe of country, intervening between the base of Olympus 
and the sea, which formed the great passage from Thessaly into 
Maoedcmia, and which was the principal scene of the two cam- 
paigns that put an end to the sovereignty and race of the Maee** 
donian kings. It may be presumed that the eminence of Platomana 
was the site of the ancient Heraelea, a town which was besieged 
by a detachment of the Roman army under Q. M. Philippus ; and 
taken by the employment of the testudoj one body of troops form- 
ing an inclined platform by the elevation of their shields abo^e the 
head, while others ascending this, were enabled to surmount the 
elevation of the walls, and to enter the town *. We stopped some 
time at a village in the pass, to make a meal on maizes-bread, ches- 
nuts, and wine; but were not aUowed to entar the castle, which 
is guarded by a small body of Albanian soldiers. Tlie arbutus 
{mrhutm €ttdradine) grows in considerable quantity on the rocks in 
this vicinity ; and Demetrius added to our repast by gathering some 
of the berries, the appesunance and flavour of which are wdl known. 
It will be recollected that the dani arbuta sihke is used by Virgil in 
describing the winter ; and though now the latter end of Novem- 
ber, these berries were yet not entirely ripe. 

* See livy, lib. zliv. 8, 9. The description leaves little doubt tbat Hecadea was on 
the site of Platomana. This place is now the seat of a Ghreek bishopric, the jurisdiction 
of which extends to Amphilodiia, Rapsfaaiii, and other Gfeek towns in this district. 

Q Q 2 

^ • 


300 LlTOCttORL 

From Platomana to Litochori is an open country, descending 
from the base of Olympus to the sea, and intersected by several 
rallies, which bring down the waters from the eastern side of this 
mountain. The most considerable of these valUes, which opens out 
from a deep and rocky ravine, is probably that of the Enipeus ; an 
important point in the campaign between the Romans and Mace^ 
donians, which terminated in the entire defeat of the latter at 
Pydna. The Macedonian King Perseus had strongly fortified the 
banks of this river during the preceding year ; but the celebrated 
Paullus ^milius compelled him to retire from this post, by ending 
Scipio Nasica with five thousand men through the mountains of 
Olympus, to threaten the rear of his army. For two or three days 
previously to the retreat of Perseus, an irregular combat was carried 
on between the two armies in the valley ; chiefly as a feint on the part 
of P. ^milius, but with considerable loss to the Romans, from the 
missile weapons thrown upon them from the Macedonian fortresses. 
The present appearance of this valley entirely coincides with th6 
description of Livy, and illustrates well the narrative of the 
historian. * 

During the remainder of our way to Litochori, we were so much 
enveloped in fog, that the landscape was entirely shut out from us ; 
and in arriving at this ^ place, which stands at the very foot of 
Olympus, every part and feature of this mountain was concealed 
from our view. We found a small and wretched town, the houses 
of which are scattered over a surface of rock so rugged and 
unequal, that it was with difiSculty we could make our way to 
the habitation of the Aga commanding the place. He appointed 
our lodging in a Greek house surrounded by rude fragments and 
ridges of rock, and seeming itself as if nodding to its fall. The 
family were greatly alarmed by our arrival, and shut themselves up 
in an outer apartment, scarcely appearing until the moment of our 

* Lib. zliv. 35. See also lib. xliv. 8. 

• , 


departure. An old decrepit woman was sent to attend upon us 
from whom we could obtain little more than the phrases, Acy t^ivf^ 
or A€v KaraXafAQavu^ " I don't know/' and " I don't understand/' in 
reply to all the questions we proposed to her. The state of the 
weather, and our vicinily to the snows of Olympus, made us pass a 
very cold night here ; and the people of Litochori have yet more 
reason than those of Eubaea, to give the name of Olympias to the 
wind coming down upon them from this mountain. In summer, 
however, the climate as well as the aspect of the place is probably 
rendered delightiul by its situation underneath these heights. 

The rock on the coast about Platomana is marble, and of fine 
quality, as may be seen in various places near the promontory on 
which the castle stands. On the way from thence to Litochori, 
the descent between Olympus and the sea is chiefly covered widi 
fragments of a coarse conglomerate, composed from different primi- 
tive rocks^ and containing a large proportion of marble. The houses 
and walls in Litochori are built in great measure of this conglomerate, 
which I found also scattered over the surface, in continuing our 
route northwards to Katrina. Among the primitive fragments, I 
noticed a few which appeared to be serpentine. These general 
observations, with what has been previously mentioned of the primi- 
tive slate country near Zarko, may lead to the inference, that th^ 
whole of the Olympus groupe is composed of primitive rocks * ; an 
opinion I was prevented from actually verifying by the season of 
the year, and in part ^.Iso by the thick fogs which hung over us for 
three successive days, while traversing this country. These fogs 
were such as entirely to hide the mountain ; and but for one half 
hour on ttie morning we quitted Litochori, we travelled at its foot^ 
with nothing but fancy to give the outhne and height. This tran- 
sient view, however, was extremely magnificent, and rendered even 


* In Dr. Sibthorpe'a collection at Oxford, there are flpedmens of marble with the 
locality <^ Olympus attached to them. 


more so by suddenness and partial obscurity. We had not before 
been aware of the extreme vicinity of the town to the base of 
Olympus ; but tv^hen leaving it on the 27th, and accidentally looking 
back, we saw through an opening in the fog, a faint outline of vast 
precipices, seeming almost to overhang the place, and so aerial in 
their aspect, that for a few minutes we doubted whether it might not 
be a delusion to the eye. The fog, however, dispersed yet more on 
this side, and partial openings were made ; through which, as through 
arches, we saw the sun-beams resting on the snowy summits of 
Olympus, which rose into a dark blue sky, far above the belt of 
clouds and mist that hung upon the sides of the mountain. There 
was something peculiar in the manner of seeing this spot, which 
accorded well with the mythology that made it a residence of the 
godi^ ; and looking to such association with ancient times, &e dk« 
tinct outline of Olympus under a summer sky might have been less 
imposing than this broken and partial display of its form, which 
seemed almost to separate it from the world below. 

Th6 transient view we had of the mountain from this point 
shewed us a line of precipices, of vast height, forming its eastern front 
toward the sea ; and broken at intervals by deep hollows or ravines^ 
which were richly clothed with forest trees. The oak, chesnut, beech, 
plane-tree, &c. are seen in great abundance along the base and skirts 
of the mountain, and towards the sunmiit of the first ridge ; large 
forests of pine spread themselves along the acclivities, giving that 
character to the face of the mountain which is so often alluded to by 
the ancient poets *. Behind this first ridge, others rise up and recede 
towards the loftier central heights of Olympus, now covered, as already 
described, with the snows of winter. Almost opposite the town of 

f Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio OBsam 

Scilicet, atque Ossas frondosum involvere Olympum. 

Virg. Georg. L 281. 
i (Lib. iiL Od. 4.) speaks of the << opaco Olympo;" and, alluding to the same sto: 
(Agamem. v. 337.) calls it ^^pinifer Olympus.** 


Litochori, a vast ravine penetrates into the interior of the mountain^ 
through the opening of which we saw, though only for a few minutes, 
what I conceive to be the summit — from this point of view, an obtuse 
cone, with a somewhat concave ascending line on each side. The 
sides of this ravine exhibit mural precipices of extraordinary height, 
and here and there the appearances of stratification were shewn by the 
snow lying on the edges of the strata. Our view, however, was too 
short and obscure to allots many observations of this nature. 

It is said that snow frequently lies on certain parts of Olympus 
during the whole year. The ascent of the mountain, however, is per- 
fectly practicable in the summer-season, and d small Greek chapel 
has even been constructed near the summit where service is performed 
once a^-year, with singular contrast to the old mythology of the spot. 
The highest habitation on the mountain is the monastery of St. J)JK>r 
nysius on its eastern side, and in the route which conducts towards 
the summit*. The height (^Olympus may be considered as being 
probably somewhat more than 6OOO feet. Plutarch tells us th^t the 
philosopher Xenagoras ascertained its elevation to be ten stadiaj and 
nearly one pkthrunij which would be a little below this estimate ^. 
B^mouilli, however, (Memoires de TAcademie des Scieticesi 16990 
gives the height at 1017 toises, or somewhat s^bove it. . I ^un not 
aware that this point has ever been barometrically ascertained. 

From Litochori we proceeded to the town of Katrina, a journey of 
only twelve miles, but rendered comfortless by fogs ,attd heavy rain, 
under the oppression of whicli even our Dervish lost his melody and 
merriment. The clouds soon closed again over Olympus, as if too 
sacred a spot to be long beheld ; and we saw it Only once again during 
a fojar hours ride along the plain which lies at-jts foot. We deviated 
somewhat from pur road to a small $cala9 or port, upon tlhe coasts 

* Sonnini, in his travels, describes the ascent of Olympus, to which he excursion 
from Salonica. 

t Pint, in vit. P. -ffianil- 


with the design of seeking a passage by sea to Salonica ; biit though 
there were several barks here already laden for that city, the wind 
was so adverse that none of them would attempt the passage. The 
loading of these vessels was chiefly wool, the produce of the great 
flocks of sheep which feed on the mountains of the Olympus chain, 
and in the northern part of Thessaly. 

The site of the ancient Dium must have been in this vicinity,— a 
city which formed an important point in the war already alluded to 
between the Romans and Perseus ; and which, though not large, 
yet might boast its temple of Jupiter, its fortifications, and the statues 
which adorned its public places *. The temple of Dium was in part 
destroyed by Scopas the ^tolian general, during the time of the last 
Philip of Macedon -f- : at present I am not aware that there are any 
remains to testify its exact site. The place was important as a mili- 
tary position, from the small interval which here occurs between the 
base of Olympus and the sea« Livy and Strabo both describe the 
distance as being about a mile ; but it is probable that the land here 
has gained in some measure upon the sea, since . it did not appear 
to me that there was any point where the interval was so small. It 
is^not unlikely that a stream which flows to the sea just beyond 
the scala may be the river Buphyris of Livy ; and that an extensive 
marsh which it forms in its progress through the plain may be the 
ostium late restagnansj which he describes as contracting the space 
between the mountain and the sea. 

At the distance of two miles beyond this marsh we forded, though 
not without inuch difEculty, a large and rapid river, which is doubt- 
less the Haliacmon of antiquity, descending from the mountains to 
the north-west of Olympus %. These mountains, by the partial clear- 
ing up the fog, we now saw forming a great sweep to the west and 

* See liv. lib. xUv. 7. Thucyd. lib. it. 78. 

f Polyb. lib. iv. 6a. This historian mentioiis also a gynmaiiuin here. 
t The modem name of this river I was told to be %)ecioto^ but theediti 
Sfrabo (tom, iii. p* 1x4.) speak of it as the lenicora,' 



norili, and leaving towards the gulph of Salonica a wide e&tex^t of 
plain country, the Pieria of the ancients ♦. This district, which n?ay 
be regarded as a part of the great plains of. Macedonia, presents to 
the eye a fertile and pleasing aspect, and is richly wooded throughout 
a great part of its extent. It is chiefly from this part of the coast, 
and from the- more innnediate skirts of Olympus and Ossa, that the 
timber is obtained^ which forms sq important a branch of the export 
trade of Salonica* Some of the chesnut and plane trees which we 
passed on our route are of very remarkable size ; and we noticed also 
much fine oak timber, well fitted for the purposes of ship-building. 
KatrijMt is a small town situated on the plain two or three miles to 
the north of the river, and surrounded by much wood. It contains 
fibdut 300 houses, some of them of large size, and a mosque, which 
has a picturesque character from the trees that environ it. We 
obtaitied a lodging here in the house formerly occupied by %he[ Aga 
of the town, but recently purchased by Veli Pasha, and tenapted at 
this time by one of his grammatik(n^ or Greek secretaries. Hiis 
man received as hospitably, and provided us with a dinner, fruit, anc{ 
other necessaries. A Greek, of Liyadia and two Zantiotes, travelling 
from Salonica to Larissa, arrived at Katrina ^bout the same time as 
ourselves, and were also quartered in this house. Aft^r our repast, 
we wwe drawn by the sounds of music into the adjoining apartment, 
whore we found the. Dervish seated by a blazing fire on the hearth, 
and amusing a large assemblage of people with his mandolin, accom-> 
panied by the voice. The chords of the instrument, which by the 
Turks, is called sarchU are upwards of three feet in length. The Der- 
vish played with some skill and variety of execution. His vocal 

. * The district of Pieria is stated by Ptolemy to extend from the Peneiis to the Lydias ; 
but according to Strabo it b^ns to the north of the Haliacmpn, and extends northwards 
along the coast to the mouth of the Axius or Yardari. Hie mountains extending to |iie 
west and north of Olympus ore probably the Cambunian Mountains of antiquity, anarrow 
passage* over wfaidi omdvcted from Pieria into the district of Perrhaebia and Tliessaly. 



R R 


music, which was all Turkish, was of a wild and uncouth dast, some 
of it warlike, and celebrating the triumphs of his nation, sung with a 
good deal of emphasis, but every-where broken and irregular. He 
was silently but attentively listened to by Sulema and our other 
Turkish companion, who sat on a couch near him, smoking their 
pipes. Tliis was one groupe in the apartment. On the other side of 
the fire, the Livadian Greek, the two Zantiotes, and the secretary, 
were playing at cards on the floor, and in the back part of the room 
was a numerous groupe of attendants, chiefly Albanese soldiers, who 
listened to .the songs of the Dervish with great seeming intentness and 
satisfaction. This singular scene continued till a late hour of the 

Katrina being a post town, we left here the post-horses which had 
brought us from Larissa, but found much difflculty in replacing them, 
and were even compelled to pay nine piastres a horse, in hiring 
others* to carry us forward to the place where we proposed to embark 
for Salonica, a distance of less than fifteen miles. It was evident 
that we sufiered from an imposition, which the Buyrouldi and 
Tartar of Ali Pasha would easily have obviated. But those of his 
son were more feeble, and the cares of the Tartar Sulema Were 
directed to his dress and personal comforts, father than to the service 
of our journey. Foppery exists under all latitudes and every form 
of national costume, and it was strikingly exhibited in the instance of 
this man. No petit^maitrc of a European metropolis could be more 
scrupulously nice in the arrangement of his dress, nor any perhaps 
boast of so much positive richness of attire as our Tartar of Larissa. 
He usually wore two or three vests of purple velvet, all profusdy 
embroidered ; his under robe was made of a rich shawl-piece ; round 
his waist were wrapped as a girdle three shawls, the outer one of 
common quality, the others of the finest manu^cture, and between 
three and four yards in length. His manner of putting on these shawls 
was by fixing, one end of each of them, and then turning himself 
within it from the other end, so as to draw the shawl ti^tly and 
uniformly round his waist. His arms consisted of two large pistols, 


the handles plated with silver, and so decorated that each was worth 
350 piastres. I beUeve there would be no exaggeration in estimating 
the value of his whole apparel at little less than 100/., besides what he 
carried with him in a leathern case as a change on the journey. ' 
On the 28th we only travelled to Leuterochori, a village about four 
hours journey to the north of Katrina. Heavy and incessant rain, 
conMng with a cold wind from the chain of Olympus^ fell upon us the 
whole way ; the roads were in many places almost impassable, and the 
country without interest ; so at least it seemed with the other impres- 
sions of the moment. The general surface over which we passed is 
plane, intersected, however, by many small valUes descending towards 
the sea, which in no place is. more than three or four miles from the 
road. Judging from the soil, the country must be entirely of cal* 
tareous formation. It is tolerably well cultivated, and produces 
much grain. 

About five miles from Katrina, we traversed a valley of wme 
breadth, through which flow one or two small rivers, and ascended 
afterwards a low ridge of hill, on which stood the town of Kitros; 
This town b upon, or very near to the site of Pydna, a city rendered 
remarkable as the scene of that battle in which P. ^milius defeated 
Perseus, and destroyed the kingdom of Macedon. The immediate 
place of action was in the valley, and on the banks of the streams 
me&tioned above, the ancient names of which were the ^son and 
Lycus *. The nature of the ground in its present state accurately 
accords with the narrative of history, and illustrates well all the cir* 
cnmstances of this event. The Macedonian army, retiring from their 
fortresses on the Enipeus in apprehension of Scipio's coming upon 
their rear, took post on the northern side of this valley in front of 
Pydna. ' The Roman army arrived soon afterwards on the southern 

* See Plut in Tit. L. P. JEmiliL — It iqppearsfrom Strabo lliat the name of j^dmi was 

changed to Kitron before his time, though Wesseling has supposed that the passage stating 

this may haye been interpolated by some later hand. It is the Citimai qf Uvy, lib. xlii« 


R R 2 

308 KITROS. 

bank of die river, and one night intervened in thift relative position 
before the battle took place. This night was signalized by a total 
eclipse of the nKX>n, an event for which the sagacity of P.^milius 
had already prepared his army, but which was unexpected by the 
Macedonians, and produced a great terror in their ranks*. The 
battle took place the next day on the banks of the river ; the enthu* 
siasm of the Romans,, seconded by the prudence of their general, 
speedily overcame the enemy, and the Macedonian army was- almost 
wholly destroyed. We are told that £0,000 were slain on the fidd, 
and that the number of prisoners exceeded 10,000. Perseus himsdf 
fled through the forests of Pieria to Pella, and was some tinie afters- 
wards made a prisoner in Samothrace. 

Kitrds is a small town, chiefly inhabited by Turks, and containing 
a mosque which stands on the sunmiit of the ridge of hilL Tfa^ 
inquiries I made respecting any ancient remains in the vicinity pro» 
cured me no information. We had suffered so much fhnh Cold dur- 
ing our ride, that we remained here half 'an hour in the stable of 4 ' 
Khan, where we found a large fire blading on the ground, with six or 
eight Turks crouched on mats around it. With some difficulty we 
made our way into the circle, and at any other time might have been 
repelled by the looks of ferocious haughtiness which were cast upon 
us, and by the opprobrious epithets which were at the same time 
muttered by several c^the party. In Albania and the southern parts 
of Greece these things now seldom occur between Turks and travdkiB 
from the west of Europe ; but in this district the Turkish population 
IS proportionably much greater, and intercourse has done less to 
soften the prgudices of the nation. 

From Kitros a ride of five miles brought us to Leuterochori {the 

free village)^ situated on an eminence within two miles of the gnlph. 

This place must correspond nearly with the site of Methone^ the city 

where Philip, while, lost his right eye by an arrow shot 


* See the narradves of Utv and Flntarch. 

LfitTTBROCROat. 509 

fh>m the walls *. We decided on passing the night here, but had 
much dtfficulty m finding a lodging. The commandantp a rough 
Alfoanese soldier, though Sulema shewed him the passport of Vdi 
Pasha, refused at first to do anything for us, alleging that he knew 
'no other order but that of Ali Pasha. We sent again to say that we 
were friends of the Vizier, and had visited him at loannina; and my 
Turkish sabre was shewn by way of producing, if possible, further 
conviction. By the influence of these reason^ we at lengdi obtained 
adinission into the house of the commandant himself, who treated us 
during the rest of the evening with a sort of boisterous civility, whidi 
was probably meant to compensate for tlie mode of our first rec^ition^ 
The naked mud walls of his mansion could afibrd indeed little more 
than shelter from the weather ; but this we felt as no mean advantage 
on a stormy evening at the end of November. 

This district is the most easterly part of the territory of Ali Pasha, 
and the point at which he approaches nearest to Constantinople. It 
was formerly mentioned that his requisitions in the region of the 
ancient Macedonia comprize four large cantons, stretching west- 
Wards from that part of the Pindus chain about Ochrida, Kastoria, 
&c. to the head of the gulph of Salonica. Here commences the 
territory governed by Ishmael Bey of Seres, who, though compara^ 
•tively feeble in his power, yet forms an important hsrner to the pro- 
gress oFAli Pasha, in his position, and in the resources he derives from 
the natural wealth of the country. 

On thfe morning of the 29th we proceeded to the €x>ast, and 
embarked in a small bark for Salonica, accompanied by several 
Albanese soldiers and peasants. The distance of Salonica from this 
point does not exceed twenty miles, but calms or contrary wind kept 
us nearly eight hours on the passage. Our course lay across the 
gulph, at a short distance from its upper extremity, where the great 
plains of Macedonia terminate in extensive marshes and lagoons. 

* Strabo describes Methone as 40 stadia to the north of I^dna. 


through which the two large rivers, the Vardari and the Vistritza, flow 
to the sea. Of these riTcrs, the Vardari is the most consi^ierable, 
rising from the mountains in the centre of the continent, and brining 
down a large and constant body of water. This was the Axiiis of 
antiquity, to which Homer applies the name of the widt*flowing ^, and* 
on which stood Pella, the capital of the Macedonian kings, at « the 
distance of about fourteen miles from its mouth. The Vistritza seems 
to have been either the Lydias or Erigon, but now, as in former times^ 
the rivers communicate by different branches, while flowing through 
these marshy plains; and not impossibly have undergone many 
changes in their course. The head of the gulph is rendered very 
shallow by the alluvial depositions which are doubtless still going on 
in this situation, and which eventually may much impede the navig- 
ation of the port. At present the shoals form good fishing-grounds, 
and numerous boats are constantly engaged in this occupaticm for 
the supply of Salonica, and other towns on the coast. 

The approach to this city from the sea is very imposing. It is seen 
from a great distance, placed on tl;ie acclivity of a steep hill, which 
^ises from the gulph at its north-east extremity ; surrounded by lofty 
stone-walls, which ascend in a triangular form from the sea, and 
surmounted by a fortress with seven towers. The domes and minarets 
of numerous mosques rise from among the other buildings, environed, 
as usual, by cypresses, and giving a general air of splendour to the 
place. In approaching the city, we passed among the numerous 
vessels which afforded proof of its growing commerce, and at six in the 
evening came up to one of the principal quays, the avenues of which 
were still crowded with porters, boatmen, and sailors, /md covered 
with goods of various description. 

* Iliad, lib. ii. 849. — The Axius had its odgia from the groupe of mouptidns foriperly 
called ScarduB. 

( 311 ) 







IT was already dark when we landed on the quay of Salonica, and 
we found upon enquiry that we could not obtain access to the 
interior of the city, the gates being always dosed at sunset. We were 
directed, however, to a Turkish coffee-house, near the place of land- 
ing, where we found a large room, divided by railing into four 
elevated compartments, one of which was allotted for our reception. 
The others were occupied by various groupes of people, Turks, 
Greeks, and Albanians ; some sleeping, some smoking, others singing 
or in loud conversation. The Dervish who accompanied us hither, 
was as usual one of the merriest and most noisy in the apartment. 
He brought out his mandolin, chaunted his Turkish songs with the 
same vociferation as heretofore, and with a seieming defiance of all 
weariness, continued this occupation till a late hour of the night. 
The Turks who were smoking around him, appeared to derive enjoy- 
ment from his music, though this enjoyment could not be inferred 
from what are the ordinary signs of expression among other people. 
It may be doubted^ perhaps, if the Turk is liable to many strong 
emotions of mind ; but whether this be so or not, it is certain that 
the exterior demonstration of feeling is unknown to hi& national 
habits, and among his countrymen would even be considered dis* 
graceful to his personal character. Th^ pipe taken for a short time 
from the mouth, and something more of intentness given to the eye, 

are usually the only tokens of his feeling inteiest in what is passing 



before him, and any* more direct expression of pleasure is seldom 
obtained. This might be accepted as a stoical virtue of character, 
were it not soon found that neither knowledge nor thought are con- 
cealed under the gravity of Turkish demeanour, and that it is at best 
but the formal apathy of habit, which hangs thus heavily upon the 
countenance and manners of tliis nation* 

We passed the night, surrounded by at least twenty people; and 
the following morning rose at an early hour to msJce rpom for the 
Turks, who came in great numbers to take their coffee in the apart- 
ment. While breakfasting ourselves in the midst of them, we dis- 
patched Sulema with our letters to Yusuf Bey, the governor of the 
city. This wa» done rather as a matter of form, than from any abti^ 
cipaticm of benefit, as we had now learnt on what terras the families 
of Ali Pasha, and of Ishmael Bey, the hih&t of Yusuf, stood to eadi 
other, and how little was to be eKpected from any reoomitiendation 
between these parties. In Saionica, fortunately there was little vfied 
of sach recommendation ; the presence of an EdigUsh consul, and of 
a considerable Frank population, afforded every comfort to the rest- 
dence of the stranger in this city. We waited this morning on 
Mr.Cfaamaud, the English consul, a gentleman to whom we were 
indebted for many attentions during our stay at Saionica. He is cyf 
a Levant family, and has now resided in this city more than twenty 
years. - His lady, who is a native of Holland, and his daughters, who 
have never quitted Turkey, are unacquainted with the Englidi 
language, but speak the Romaic with fluency, and as their ordinary 
medium of intercourse. At their dinner table, we found some 
approach to the English manner of Jiving, but combined with that 
conmion throughout the south of Europe. The Frank families, 
which have long resided in the Levant, gradually lose their several 
national characteristics, as they become more identified with the 
habits of the coimtry in which they live ; and, unless within the pre* 
cincts of a factory or other establishment, the traveller might often 
in vain seek to find a relation between a national name and the 
features of tl^ individuals who bear it 



A more striking instance of this occurred to our notice, in the 
family of Mr. Abbott, an English merchant of Salonica. A resideooe 
of more than half a century^ in various parts of the Turkish empire, 
has taken from Mr. Abbott every thing English but his name, and 
an imperfect knowledge of the language. He wears the dress of the 
country, speaks the Turkish .almost as his native tongue; associates 
chiefly with Turks, and might easily be mistaken by the stranger for 
one of this nation. Of his long residence abroad, forty-two years 
have been passed at Salonica ; thirteen in, the northern part of Asia 
Minor. He married a Greek lady of the latter country, and his son, 
the only person in the family who speaks English, is also married to 
a female of the same nation. We dined* once or twice at Mr. Abbott's 
table during our stay at Salonica. The usages of his house differed 
very little from those of common Greek society ; and the ladies of the 
lamily in particular were most scrupulous in their observation of the 
Greek fast, one period of which had just commenced with all its 
severities of denial. 

By the assistance of Mr. Charnaud, we procured a lodging in th^ 
house of an old Frenchman of decayed fortunes, who has long re* 
sided in Salonica. We had wished that our Tartar should take up 
his abode in the same house ; but the females of the family, who were 
all. Greeks, expressed themselves in such horror of this, idea, that we 
were compelled to change our plan, and to send Sulema to the coffee^ 
house where we had lodged on the first night of our arrival. . 

The first two or three days of bur residence at Salonica were chiefly 
occupied in surveying the interior of this city, well known to antiquity 
under the name of Thessalonica, and at the present time one of the 
most considerable towns in European Turkey. The most ancient 
appellation of the place was Therma, derived, in common with that of 
the gulph, from hot springs which still exist in several places upon the 
coast. The Macedonian Cassander, who enlarged and embellish]^ 
the city so much as to merit the title of its founder, gave it the name 
of .Thessalonica in compliment to his wife, lixe daughter of Philip of 
MacedoQ. Cicero resided here some . time during bis banishnoeot 

S 8 



from Rome ; and man j of hi9 letters to Atticus^ who was then at his 
estate in Epirus, are dated from Tbessaioniea. At the period when 
^e Apostle Paul visited the place, it appears to have been large,^ 
iMpulous, and wealthy ; and the Byzantine historians speak much of 
its splendour and importance*. The massacre of 15J0QO of its inhabit** 
ants, from the sudden fury of Tbeodosius, is well known to history, as 
weU as the severe expiation required* of that monarch by the intrepid 
Ambrose. In the decline of the Greek empire, the city was taken 
by William King of Sicily, and at a still latier period made over by 
pne of the Palaeologi to the Venetians. The latter, however, enjoyed 
their possession but a few yeaFs, Thessalonica falling into the* power 
of the Turks in 1431, to whose empire it has ever since been subject. 
In its present state, Salonica is exceeded in population only by 
Constantinople, and possibly by Adrianopole, among the cities of 
European Turkey, and in the extent of its commerce is probably 
second to the capital alone. Its general situation and the inagnifi- 
cence of its external appearance have already been noticecl. The 
oircumference of the city, as determined by the walls, probably 
exceeds five. miles. This included su'ea has ^the form of an irregular 
triangle ; the searwall being the base, and the apex of the triangle 
lieing formed by the castle, which surmounts and commands the 
town. Nearly the whole of this area is occupied by buildings, only a 
small interval of rocky ground being left between the city and the 
fortress. The interior of Salonica presents the .same irregularity, and 
many of the same, deformities which arecbmmon in Turkish towns. 
The rapid ascent of the hill diminishes this eviji in tlie upper part of 
the town ; and on the whole, as respects cleanliness and internal com-* 
fort, Salonica may contrast favourably wkh most other places in 
Turkey of large si^e and population. It certainly gains greatly in tile 

* See the descripdon of Thessalonica by loannes Cameniates, in his narrative of the 
capture of the city by the Barbarians, {during the time ofLeaf^ Also the exclamatory 
calogaim of Demetrius C^onins in descrifaii^ die tame event T^tees, in UtCSbliadB; 
speakjB oTTheesflfopica «s w9Aif UlfiffVwn^ 



eonfpaiiBon^ if activity of business be admitted as a criterion of 
superiority. Except in those quarters where this principal Turks 
reside, there is a general appearance of life and movement which 
forms a striking contrast to the monotohy of a Turkish town. The 
quays are covered with goods ; numerous groupes of people are 
occupied about the ships or the warehouses, and the Bazars are weU 
stocked, and perpetually crowded with buyers and sellers. They are id 
fact chiefly Greeks or Jews who are thus occupied, people ever ready 
to seLs^e any opening which may be o£Pered to commercial industry^ 
atid ever ingenious in meeting and frustrating the political oppressions 
under which they labour. At the time when we visited Salonica^ 
the gres[t and sudden influx of trade to that port had afforded such an 
opening of the most iavoiirable Mnd; and the ctmracter of Yusuf 
Bey^s government was such, as not, in any material degree^ to ch^ck 
the progress of industry. 

The style of building in Salonica is entirely Turkish ; and as m 
loan tiina, the houses of the principal inhabitants, Oreeks as well £is 
Turks, have email aireas connected with them, generally occupied by 
a few trees. The foliage int^mixed with the buildings, however, 
firims a much less striking feature here than in loannina ; and the 
general appearance of the city is that of greats <K>mpactness and 
uniformity. The Bazars, which arfe situated in the lower part of 
the town, are very extensive, forming several long but harrow streets. 
As is common in this country, they are shaded either by trellises 
with vines, or by projecting wooden sheds, with branches of trees 
thrown across the intermediate space. The dealers, as I have already 
stated, are principally Greeks and Jews, with a large proportion of 
the latter nation. The shops are well filled with manufactured goods 
and colonial produce ; but in the display of jewellery, shawls, am) 
the richer articles of Oriental dress, appear to be inferior to those of 
loannina. In looking through the Bazars we observed a great 
abundance of caviare exposed to sale in the different shops: the 
sturgeon, from which this is obtained, is caught in the Black Sea; 
and the caviare is brought thence in large quantity, for the su{^y of 

s s 2 



the Greeks, in different parts of Turkey, who make much use of this 
article during the k)ngfast prescribed by their religion. , • 
' llie number of minarets in Salonica contributes to the exterior 
magnificence of the city ; and some of the mosques to which these 
belong, are worthy of notice from their size and antiquity. Attended 
by a Janissary, in the service of Mr. Charnaud; we visited the 
two most considerable ; formerly the Greek churchfes of Sabta So- 
phia, and St. Demetrius, but now converted to the purposes of the 
Mohammedan worship. The Santa Sophia was erected by the 
command of Justinian; the model of the edifice, though on a much 
larger scale, being the celebrated church of that name at Constan- 
tinople, and Arthemia» the architect of both. There is something 
venerable and imposing in the approat:h to this building. It stands 
in the midst of an area, shaded by cypresses and other ancient trees ; 
a large marble fountain is opposite to the great doors of tlie church ; 
and detached portions of the original edifice, now partly in a ruinous 
state, are seen at iot^*^alB through the trees. We holered, the interior 
of the mosque, — a privilege depending upon usages which in all cases 
is omnipotent among the Turks. The floor, as is usual in Moham- 
medan churches, is entirely covered with mats or carpeting, upon 
wliich were kneeling in different places eighteen or twenty Turks, 
each singly and silently engaged in religious worship.. With what- 
ever sentiment the tenets of their religion naay be regarded, it is 
impossible not to be struck with the decorum, or even dignity of 
devotion, which is manifested externally in the worship of this 
people. It was necessary to comply with their Osage in taking off 
our shoes before we trod on the carpet of the mosque, or could 
advance underneath the large and lofty dome which forms the mogt 
conspicuous feature in the building. The interior, in its present state» 
exhibits but few of those decorations which gave splendour to the 
edifice in its original character of a Greek chjurch. A sort of stone 
rostrum, however, is shown here, reputed by the Christians of the 
city to be that from which St.Paurpreached to the Thessalonians. I 

am not aware on what this tradition is founded. 




The mosque, once the Greek church of St. Demetrius, is of iarge 
size, and remarkable for the number and beauty of the aneient' 
columns which support and adorn it. The loftiness of the building 
has admitted two heights of gallery ; each, as well as the roof, sup- 
ported by a tier of columns passing round the church. The totkl 
number is said to be three hundred and sixty. Some of these columns 
are of marble, some of verde-antique^ others of sienite and a very 
beautiful prophyry . We visited the stone sepulchre of St.Demetrius: 
in a cell adjoining the church, where a lamp js kept burning, chiefly,- 
as it seems, to enable the Turk, who shews the place, to require a few 
coins from the visitor of the tomb. St. Demetrius was the patron 
saint of the city, famed for his martyrdom, and for various miracles 
which are recorded in the Byzantine history. A subterranean church 
is connected« with the inosque, erected, it is said, on the site of ther 
Jewish synagogue, where St. Paul preached to the peo{^e of Thessa* 


There are few remains in this place belonging to a more remote 
antiquity. A triumphal gate, erepted after the battle of Philippi, in 
honour of Augustus, has lost its former splendour by beinjg made a 
part of the modern walls of the city. A work of greater magnifi^ 
cence is a triumphal arch of Roman brick, cased with marble, which 
traverses one of the principal streets. This is said to have been 
(erected in honour of Constantine the Great; Originally there was a 
smcdl arch on each side ; but these are how blocked up ; and in other 
respects the work is much defaced by time. Some fine bas-relief 
grbupes still, however, remain on the piers of the arch ; one repre- 
senting a triumphal procession ; a lower compartment describing the 
events of a battle; — the sculpture not without a good deal of spirit*. 

- * Pococke speaks with great admiradon of these bas-relieft : and M. Beaujour, in his 
** Tableau du Commeroe de la Ordoe,'' depreciates them in an equal degree. Perkf^ the 
truth is between thes^ two writers. M. Beaujour, however, is * certainly loo^ luxujtant in 
his description, of, the figures on the Corinthian colonnade of Sal<mica. 



In the middle of the oity, a singular ruined structure is seen, forming 
in its present «tat€i the entrance to the area of a Oreek house, — a 
Goriilthian colonnade, of which four columns now remain, supporting 
an oitablature, on which are corresponding pilastres, six feet in height. 
On each side of this upper colonnade are four figures in full length, 
BOW so far defaced by time, that it is not easy to make out all their 
characters. It seems probable, however, that three of those on one 
lude represent Victcnry, Bacchus, and Ganymede ;. while on the other 
are the figures of Leda and Ariadne, a male figure, and that of a 
female in profile. This edifice is supposed to have been the entrance 
of the ancient circus of Thessalonica ; and if so, the scene of the dread- 
ful massacre directed by Theodosius. It is stated, though I know 
aiot on what authority, to have been built in the time of Nero. It does 
not appear that the columns ever exceeded five in number^ 

The walls of Salonica ate lofty and well buiH. The castle forms 
9. large distinct area, separated fi*om the city by a tran verse, wati ; 
the greater fKtrt of which enclosui^ is either vacant, or occupied by 
irregular buildings. At its highest point stands the fortress, smv 
mounted by seven town's, like that of the capital of Turkey. The 
view from this point is extensive and magnificent The city, and ita 
numerous minarets, are immediately below the eye ; beyond these 
the expansion of the gulph, and the vast barrier of the Olympus 
chain towards the west ; and in a northerly direction, the widely*^ 
spreading plains of Macedonia, and the rivers which pursue. a tor- 
tuous course through them towards the sea. Pella, the ancient 
capital of the Macedonian kings, stood upon these plains ; and its 
situation, even from this distance, is marked with son^ certainty, as 
well by the course of the rivers, as by the eminence on which stood 
the fortress of the city, described by liivy to be like an island rising 
out of the surrounding marshes. Towards the'norlh of this tract of 
level country , a lofty range of mountains occupies part of the horizcm ; 
the modern* name of which is said to be Xerolivado. In the same 
direction firom Salonica is the large and populous city of Seres, the' 
residence of ' Ishmael Bey, and the seat of his local government. 


The view {torn the castle of SaloQica^ towards the penininila of die 
atipient Pallene, is Umited by the mouotain called Ghortehadjet, a few 
miles to the sQUth-east of the city ; oq the sides of which hill, ice is 
preserved ip wells during the whole year for the ^use of the popa<« 
lation of Salonica. I cannot speak with certainty of th6 geological 
character of this peninsula; but I believe it probable, that there id 
a good deal of primitive country in its ejctent. Mount Athos is 
known to be composed of primitive rocks, marble, a compound .olf 
hornblende and felspar, &c. The hill on which Salonica is built^ 
appears to be entirely composed of mioa slate; a fact I first noticed 
in the open space between the city and the fortress, where there are 
many abrupt projections of thi^ rock, exhibiting a great indiimtion 
of the strata. The mines of gold and silver neur Pbilippi,/and in 
other parts of Macedonia, are mortioned by yarious. wrkeps of 
ludtiquity. ^ 

Tht population of Salonica, in its present state, probably exceeds 
seventy thousand souls. I have heard }t estimated as high as ninety 


thousand ; but in this statement there appears to be some exa^er* 
ation. It is certain, however, that the number of inhabitants has been 
much increased within the last few years, owhig in part to the ex-* 
^ tended commerce of the place, partly to the settlement of nuiuerous 
emigrants, who have fled hitherto shun the powder or the vengeance of 
Ali Pasha. The population is coniposed of foiir distinct classes, 
Turks, Greeks, Jews, and Franks; the last comprizing all >-tho^ 
inhabitants who are natives of the other parts of £urope^ whether 
English, French, Germans, or Italians. The* Turks probably form 
$omewhat less than half the whole popiilatioa of the city. Though 
thus intermixed with other communities- of people, they poeaerv^ mil 
their peculiar national habits, and a greater fiiciUty o^* exerdmiig 
them than their countrymen of loannina. In walking through those 

* This mountain is prdbably the ancient Binnipnk at the foot of which 8UH>d 
cf BerraBR. Edessa was situated beyond PeUa in the itene district. 


quarters of Salonica, which are chiefly inhabited by these people, we 
were more than once exposed to insult from the young Turkish 
boys, who, with the accustomed opprobrious epithete, amused them- 
selves by throwing stones at us. In a case of this kind, it would 
have been fruitless to remonstrate, and dangerous to offer violence in 

The number of Greek families in Salonica is said to be about two 
thousand. The greater part of this population is engaged in commerce ; 
and many of the Greek merchants resident here, have acquired con- 
siderable property from this source. The trade they carry on is in 
some measure subordinate to that of the Frank merchants of Salonica; 
but they have likewise extensive independent connections with Ger- 
many, Constantinople, Smyrna, Malta, and various parts of Greece. 
They do not possess so much reputation in literature as their country- 
men of loannina, owing perhaps to the difference which their situation 
produces in the nature of their commercial concerns. I have visited, 
however, the houses of some of the Salonica merchants, in which there 
were large collections of books, including as well the Romaic litera- 
ture as that of other parts of Europe. Salonica is one of the Greek 
metropolitan sees, to which eight suffragan bishoprics are annexed. 
The Greeks have a number of churches in the city, the principal of 
which is called the ilotundo, rendered remarkable by the domes 
rising from its . roof, and giving an air of splendour to its external 

. The Jews form a large portion of the population of the city, and 
the number of houses occupied by this people is estimated at between 
three and four thousand. The community is of Spanish descent, and 
settled here under, certain conditions of protection and privilege,* 
which appear to have been faithfully executed on the part of the 
Turks. The Jews of higher class obtain a livehhood chiefly as 
brokers, or retail-dealers in the Bazars ; the greater number are em- 
ployed as porters on the quays, and in other similar offices. They 
exhibit the same act;ive dili^nce here as elsewhere; but the repute 


0f fraudulent habits goes along with that of industry ; and the Jews 
of Salonika are characterized in d. saying of the country , as a people 
whom it is the business of every strange to avoid- * 

The Frank population of Salonica is confined to the lower quarter 
of the city, but hap latterly been much extended in number by the 
increasing commerce of the place* The German and French resi^ 
dents are more numerous than the £ ; and the former in 
particular have made several large establishments here within the 
last two years, in refedmce to the transit trade with the intmor of 
Germany, The Austrian consul, M. Coch, is a gentleman who had 
formerly some rank in Venice, but who suffered during the revo^ 
lutions of that state, and. 'has been obliged to acc^t*his present 
situation at Salonida, in which, he appears to be deservedly respected* 
The French residents consist chiefly of families who have ' been long 
settled . in the Levant, either professionally or in commercial- engage- 
ments. Their, consul at this time was M. Clairembaut, a gentle* 
iwm .w;h<iv in conformity to the designs Of the existing gov«nnient 
of France, is said tx> have shewn much activity in. his endeavours to 
impede the British commerce at this port. There are two French 
medical practitioners in Salonica, one of whom, M« Lafond, appears 
to be much esteemed, both professionally and as a member of 
society, engrossing all the principal practice of the city« / 

The houses of the Franks resident in Salonica are similar to those 
of the native inhalHtants of the counti^. The separation of their 
society from the rest of Europe has given rise to an imimate con* 
nection among themselves ; and though by the usual davits or fatal- 
ities, of life, some private feuds have found a way into the community, 
yet on the whole their social intercdurse is maintained on a pleasant 
and respectable footing. The same tnrcumstance of insulation has 
in general exempted them from any violence of national animosity ; 

* This saying conveys a caution, << to shun the Grredc of Athens, the Turk of Negro* 
poAt, and the Jew of Saloniea.** 

T T 


though some time before our arrival, this harmony, which formed 
so important a benefit to all, had been affected by the influence of 
the French continental system, at that period under the despotic 
impulse of Napoleon, extending its baneful energies to every part of 
Europe. Humanity has but one comment to make on a political 
scheme, which could prohibit social intercourse with the subjects of 
a hostile power, even situated in this comparative seclusion ; thus 
abolishing the courtesies of former warfare, and abridging, almost 
maliciously, the amount of human comfort: It is requisite, how- 
ever, to mention that M. Clairembaut, though executing the inten- 
tion of his govetnment, in the furtherance of this system, ventuped a 
deviation so far as to call upon us during our stay a;t Salonica ; 
an act of attention, for which we were indebted to the kindness of 
M. Pouqufevillei who had written to him with this object. 

We foiind much facility in entering into the society of the^ German 
residents at Salonica. Mr. Chassaud, a relation of Mr. Abbott's, 
and connected with the English establishment in the Levant, intro- 
duced us to the Austrian consul, at whose house we passed two 
very agreeable evenings. The party there was a sort of cafwersa- 
zimtj with card-tables also in the rooni. The company consisted of 
Greeks, Germans, English, and a tew French residents ; the ladies 
of the Cbnsurs family, and the lady and daughter of Mr. Chas- 
saud, being the only females present. The Austrian Consul* and 
Mrl Chassaud are married to sisters of a Greek family ; and their 
daughters, who form the most cultivated part of the female society 
at Salonica, are more allied to the Greek than to the European 
clKuracter in their costume, manners, and language. Afler an in- 
terval of solicitation, which did not disprove the old saying of 
Horace respecting singers, these young ladies gave us a number 
of songs in the Romaic and Turkish languages ; the style of music 
much alike in both, and more interesting from the peculiarity than 
from the harmony of these national airs. One Romaic song, com- 
posed by the unfortunate Rega, at the lime when the French Revo- 



hition gave a passing impulse to the spirits of tiie Greeks, was sung 
to the well-known air which we connected with the words of ^^ Life 
let US cherish^ ^/' ♦ In listening to this, my memory was carried 
back for a moment, with a singular shifting of scene, to the shores of 
the Fax6-Fiord in Iceland ; where two years before I had unexpect- 
edly caught the sounds of this very air, played on the chords of the 
Icelandic langspiel. The effect of these sudden contrasts between 
memory and reality may be understood and estimated by all. 
- . We received many civilities from the German merchants, resident 
at Salonica, and dined two or three times with large parties, which 
were made on our account. Their business of purchasing colonial 
and manufactured articles for the German market, and forwarding 
them overland through Turkey, is one that demands activity and 
enterpriise, as weU as capital ; and accordingly we found teyeral of 
them to be men of much intelligence and well acquainted with the 
world. We obtained, through their means, various particulars of tWs 
transit commerce ; and though the extraordinary series of lat^r events 
has now greatly diminished the importance of the subject, I tjrust I 
shall be pardoned in giving a sli^t sketch of a traffic, which was 
singular in its nature, and which the contingencies of the future may 
possibly again restore, though never, it may be hoped, from the same 
causes or the same necessity. 

Till within the last three or four years, the commerce of Salonica 
was limited to a certain average amount of exports and imports, 
which will hereafter be mentioned ; and to a small overland traffic 
with Germany, chiefly for the conveyance of the manufactures of 
Thessaly. The obstacles opposed to the commerce of Europe by the 
continental system of Napoleon, while creating an extreme scarcity 
of colonial produce and British manufactures through the interior of 
the continent, had the natural effect of conducting the merchant to 

* This patriotic song, banning, T^ xaifligonsj fiXoi hm oSc^f of, is one of the most 
popular and spirited of those which were addressed to the enthusiasm of the Greeks at the 
period in qnestiojL 

T T 3 


I&oire remote jcE^nnels of intercoucde ; the increased price of his 
gbodsr compensatiiig for the greater risk of the enterprize. The port 
bf Salonica formed one of these new channels of commerce^ and the 
progreslsive extension and success of the French system during the 
yearB 1810yl811, and 1812, produced an increase in the import trade 
<rf this placer-depending on the necessity feh in Germany for 
articlegj to which an access was denied by the accustomed routes^ 
To conduct 'thfe overland traffic, the partners or . agents of various 
German. hooses. settled theitaselves at Salonica. The English inter- 
course with this port :had hitherto been carried i on through Malta, 
and iH' Maltese or Grdek vessels; but. the increasing demands for 
goods led 'to a mbr^ immediate communication, and during the year 
1812 :nearly thirty, cargoes arrived here direct from England, besides 
a still grtater numbw of ^ vessels, undei*.the English flag, from Malta 
smd Gibraltar. The imports by these various cargoes were prin- 
cipally 4ragar, coffee, indigo, and cottourtwist ; with a smaller 
quantity of other articles^ of miscellaneous kind. The goods thus 
forwarded to Salonica w«*e received by the. German agents there, 
transmitted by lind^carriage- throiigL Turkey, and the payments 
^ade in bill-transactions between the commercial houses in Germany 
and their connections in England. 

The most singular feature in this trade is the long and laborious 
journey, by which the goods are transported from the shores of the 
Archipelago to. the very centre of the continent of Europe. Such 
a journey, indeed, will not compare in length or difficulty with many 
of those performed by the caravans of the East ; biit it is nevertheless 
interesting, both from the nature of the .road, and as an evidence of 
what commerce can rapidly accomplish in obviating the impe- 
diments to which it may be exposed. From Salonica to the Austrian 
dominions there are two or three principal routes ; one through the 
province of Bosnia; another through Bulgaria by Widin and 
Ossovo ; a third which deviates from the last, at the city of Sophia, 
taking the direction of Belgrade. The, Bosnian route conducts, the 
traveller through Seraglio, a city said to contain more than 50,000 


people ; but the country to be traversed iis so xiiountaiik>us» that it 
is comparatively not much frequented. The second route, or that of 
Bulgaria, is the one which has been adopted for the transit of the 
Sretland commerce from Salonica. Pursuing a bourse nearly duA 
north by Seres, Sophia, and Widin, it entei^s the Austrian territory/at 
Ossova, and is thence continued dirough the B^nnat of Hungary .by 
Temiswar, to Pest, Raab, and Vienna, i In the subjoined note *, some 
farther details are given respecting this road^ which seems on the whole 
to be the most adrantageous for the punposes of transit commerce; 
though in the present state of Turkey, liable, like others, to interrup*^ 
tion foom internal feuds and warfore. At the moment when, we 
visited Salon ica, such an interruption had just occurred, in conse^ 
quence of a war between Mola Pasha of Widin, and his neighbour 
Yusuf Aga of Berkofcha. It was reported that .the Pasha of Widin, 
following the example of his predecessor Paswan Oglou, had refused 
to obey certain mandates of the Turkish government, which, accord^ 
ing to a practice very common in this part of the world, * hac^ 
impelled Yusuf Aga to attack him, with assurance of indirect suji^ 
port; thus satisfying its own dignity by exciting a . petty warfkre 
between two districts of the empire. It was conceived at Saionica, 
that this contest would be short ; and that whichsoever party was 
successful, would readily allow the renewied passage of the car&vani» 
for the sake of the duties imposed upon them. In the mean-time,^ 
however,* several individuals had gone up the country, to aseertaiin 
the practicability of a route through Servia ; though it was appre^ 
hended there might be -difficulty in . establishing, this, during ihe 
uncertain state of that province which succeeded to the Russian 

* Some of the principal stages upon the Bulgarian route, setting out from Saionica, 
are, — Klissoli, Seres, Dimirissar, Melenico, Doupnitza (in this vicinity is the great moun- 
tain pass of Kresna), Sophia, Bereoftza (here there occurs a high mouQtain district), 
Lomm- Widin, €ambe, Ossova^ Mechadia, Teregova, Matina, Karanschebes, Zugoscfa, 
Kisg^to^ Edcas^Tememir. (the capital of tlie Bannat), Bet^erck, Kemlas, Mokfin, &c. 


The goods landed at Salonica for carriage into Germany are chief! jr 
transported upon the horses of the country. They are made up into . 
packages, each -weighing in general H cwt., and of these packages 
two are carried by every horse. The cavalcades for this inland 
journey are of various size, some consisting of one or two hundred, 
others even exceeding a thousand horses. A few days preceding our 
arrival, Mr. Leoghley, a German merchant, had dispatched one of 
nearly eleven hundred horses ; the greatest number, it is said, which 
ever depafted at one time from the city. The property transported by 
this single conveyance, at a moderate estimate, niust have been worth 
30,000/. on its arrival in Germany. The time occupied in the journey 
from Salonica to Vienna is in general about thirty-five days, exclu- 
sively of the quarantine at Ossova, which at this time was extended 
to twenty-eight days. The cavalcades usually travel eight hours in 
the twenty-four. In the evening tliey halt in the neigbourhood of 
soihe town or village ; the packages are taken ()fF the horses and 
placed in a central spot, with guards around them during the night ; 
the horses pasture in the vicinity, and the men attending the caval- 
cade supply themselves with provisions from the villages. These men 
vary in number according to the size of the caravan, one man being 
commonly attached to every five horses, besides the guards who watch 
over the security of the whole. It is worthy of remark, that as fair 
down as the close of 1812, no predatory attempt had been made 
upon these caravans, nor any material loss sustained by mere petty 
pillage during this long overland journey. 

Camels are sometimes, but more rarely, employed for the inland 
carriage of goods to a certain distance from Salonica. Their load is 
double that of the horse, but the progress they make in a country like 
European Turkey is slow, and subject to numerous obstacles. We 
fortunately happened to see in the suburbs of Salonica a train of 
thirty or forty camels, just arrived from a journey ; an interesting 
spectacle, as well in the magnificent size and attitudes of the animal, 
98 in the connection it has with the tales and scenery «of the East. 
In their passage through the Turkish dominions, the goods are sqb^ 


ject to various duties paid to the Pashasand other local authoritiesf 
on the route ; but these are for the most part of staaW account, often 
not exceeding a few paras on each package. They are said to be 
most considerable at Widin, the Pasha of which place has, derived 
large sums from the passage of the caravans through his territory. I 
have heard it estimated that the total expence of the transit of sugar 
and coffee to Vienna was about cent, per cent, on their import valu^ 
at JSalonica, and it is easy to credit this statement. It has not been 
usual to effect insurances on the overland .transport ; this risk, as well 
as the expences of the journey, being compensated by the great 
demand and high price of colonial articles in Germany. . In the 
autumn of 1812, coffee was selling at Vienna at a common price of 
15/; per cwt. ; «ugar and other produce in. the same proportion. It 
was found necessary, in carrying on this trade, to send down from 
Germany specie sufficient . to pay the transit . expences of the goods, 
no house at Salonica having means to afford accommodation of this 

The return cargoes from Salonica during this period of its aug- 
mented commerce have been chiefly of grain and timber ; the former, 
in particular, rendered valuable by its deficiency at this time, not 
only in Spain, but even in Sicily, the ancient granary of Rome. 
Some obstacles were offered to this export of grain by the French 
influence operating through Constantinople, but the authority of the 
Porte in its provinces is too limited to oppose itself to an impulse 
powerful as that of gain. Shipments of corn, prohibited in appear* 
ance, -were made with facihty during the night; nor was it easy to 
raise impediments where the local government was the party chiefly 
corfcemed in these transactions. 

The restoration of European conunerce by the events of the last 
two years has had the effect of superseding this transit trade, and of 
reducing the commerce of Salonica to . narrower . limits. . There is 
reason, howeyer, to believe that it will still be greater than it was ten 
years ago ; the low price which our colonial produce, &c. for' some 
time bore, having led to an increased demand among Turks as well 



as Greeks ; which demand^is likely in part to be continued, though 
the articles are again raised in value* Still, it may be considered 
that the trade of the place is now returning to its former level, and I 
shall therefore add a few remarks on its general nature and extent. 
- The exports from Salonica are principally corn, cotton, tobacco, 
And timber, the produce either of the great plains to the north of the 
city, or of the shores of the gulph towards the south. The plains of 
Macedonia have long been celebrated for their fertility in grain ; and 
the cottons of the district of Seres, the ancient Sintice, are deservedly 
held in much repute. The culture of tobacco is of course of later 
origin, though this plant now forms one of the principal articles of 
gt*owth in the lands surrounding the Macedonian villages. Ahnost 
all the produce of this important district centres in Salonica, as a 
place of export, it being in fact the only accessible outlet for a great 
part of the territory in question. Of the grain shipped from this port, 
the larger proportion is wheat, the quality of wliich may, for the most 
part, be considered very good *. In the year 1809, which will 
-furnish perhaps a fair average, the export of wheat was estimated at 
1,000,000 Jdlos, the kilo being about 55 lbs. ; that of barley at 500,000; 
that of Indian corn at 100,000 kilos. The ordinary price of wheat 
for export has been from five to six or six and a half piastres per kilo, 
until the last two or three years, when its value has been greatly raised 
by deficient crops, and an increased demand in other countries -f^ 
Unfortunately for the interests of commerce, the Bey of Salonica pre- 
^rves a monopoly of the com trade, purchasing all the grain from 
the cultivators at a certain price, and disposing of it to the merchants 
for his own best advantage. The prohibition to the export of com 
from Turkey is easily obviated, by means to which I have already 

* The stranger must not judge of this from the bread in Salonica, which is renci^red 
gritly and unpleasant by the softness of the stones employed in grinding it. 

f The crop of i8x2 was remarkably deficient, and when we visited Salonica flour was 
seOing at 24 paras an oke, which quantity the year before had been sold at an average 
price of 14 paras. 


' Hie cx>ttons of Macedonm are fine^^ though perhaps inferior, to 
thofle of Theasalj. In the year 1809, the export of this article from 
Salonica amounted to llO^OOO bales.; the price on board varying from 
60 to 85 or 90 paras per oke*^ ( 

The annual produce of tobacco in diis district has generally varied 
from 35,000 to 40,000 bales, the bale containing 110 okes, or about 
275 lbs. Of this quantity nearly 30,000 bales are shipped at Salonica, 
chiefly to Alexandria, and the different Italian ports. The average 
annual export to Egypt has been estimated at 15,000 ba^es ; but 
a considerable proportion of this tobacco is of inferior quality, 
the first cost of which does not exceed nine or ten piastres a 
bale, ^ while the price of the Yenidje tobacco, which is the best 
quality, amounts to upwards of forty piastres. The duties on. the 
different kinds are tskea ad valorem. It is said that the produce of 
tobacco in Macedonia has considerably decreased within the last teii 
or twenty years, owing in part to the indirect, effects of the war 
b^ween Russia and the Porte, partly to the prevention of the r^ular 
sale in f^ypt, by the invasion and subsequeait events in that country. 
. Wool is another article in the trade from Salonica, and in the year 
already referred to, the export amounted to about 1,000,000 lbs. 
The timber of Salonica is chiefly obtained, from the shores of the 
gulph, particularly in the vicinity of Katrina, and is well adapted to 
the. purposes of ship^^bmlding, for which it is conveyed to Malta, and 
oth^ ports of the Mediterranean. > 

The ordinary imports into Salonica consist of clayed sugars, Mooka 
and West Indian coffee, dye-woods, indigo, cochineal, muslins, 
printed calicoes, irop^^lead, tin, watches, and various other articles of 
a miscellaneous kind. The quantity of none of these is very great, 
but the trade seems capable of extension ; and the demand both for 
colonial and manufactured goods will probably receive a progressive 
increase The commercial events of the last few years have doubtless 
contributed to this effect, and it is diflicult to repel commerce from a 
ground where she has once freely trodden^ 

V V 


. The ships ^t Salpnioa lie at anchor before the tovn, but the form 
of the gulph renders the harbbur a safe one^ and the access to it is by 
no m^DS idii&ciih. The ordinary import and export duties of thi^ 
place are those commoii to foreign trade in Turkey, yiz. three per oent^ 
adfoaioremi which, dulieft are always fanned from the Porte by the 
governor of the dty. The present governor, Yusuf Bey, has shewn 
a disposition to encourage trade, which can scarcely excite surprize^ 
considering the large xevenues he has latterly drawn from this source^ 
It ought further to be mentioned, however, ihat the character and 
goventment of Yusuf are on the whole beneficial to the inhahitanb of 
Salonica,. and that he shews an exemption from many of the preju-^ 
dices comhion to bis nation. Though habitually reserved in his 
jnanaer, he appears to have much curiosity and desire of improve* 
inent. ^ He generally visits the English ships of war which, enter the 
port, and has himsdf established a cannon foundery at Salonica, 
under i the direction of a ^Frenchman, where brass cannon are cast of 
good manufacture. The wealth of Yusuf : Bey is, said to be graafL 
His present residence is in- the higher parts of the city, in a building 
which exhibits no exterior magnificence ; but be is about to erect a 
n^w palace,* which, it is imported, will cost nearly two flullions of 

Ishmael Bey of Sere^, the father of Yusuf, is one. of those charai> 
tars, who, in the disjointed Turkish. empire, have risen up into a sort 
of independence, retaining a permanent power in thdr several 
^stricts, with the recognition, however, x)f the authority of the Porte, 
and the payment of large sums to maintain an interest in the Divan. 
While Ali Pasha holds in subjection some of the mcH'e mountainous 
parts of Macedonia, Ishmael Bey has long possessed authwity over 
the great plains of this country ; and his present jurisdiction is said 
to extend over a district stretching five days' journey to the north of 
Salonica. . This, according to the common estimate, gives a distance 
of 100 or 120 miles, but with a very^small breadth. The^city of 
Seres, the seat of his government, contains between five and six 


thousand homes, and many wealthy inhabitants* IshmaeU now an 
cl^m^ny is a native of this coimtry. His powers whidb has progros^ 
^Tely increased during the last forty years, is maintained by '» conlt. 
siderable military force ; partly also^ as it would seem, by the attach^ 
ment of the population, and still mora perhaps by the wealth he has 
derived from the revenues of a fertile country and ja flourishing sea^ 
port. His. jurisdiction is uncontrolled by. that of llie neighbouring 
Wiziers or Pashas, and derives authority from ^% recognitioa of the 
Porte,* with which he is said to maintain a good tundeistandiiig. Tht 
power of lahmael Bey, however, bears no Compairisonr with theft of 
Ali Pasha; nor has he the. character of independent sovere%nty 
which the latter derives from the extent of his territory, from his army, 
his revenues, and his intercourse with foreign powers. The active 
ambition of AU has long been a source of alarm to the Bey of Seres, 
and but that such an enterprize in the relative situation of the parties 
would be equivalent to a declaration of war against the Porte, it is 
probable that these apprehensions might be justified by the reality. 
The immediate vicinity of Ali Pasha^s dominions tp Salonica has 
given particular cause for alarm in this quarter ; and this feeling has 
been lately increased by rumours of Albanese soldiers and commis- 
saries coming over in disguise to disturb and agitate the city. Such 
rumours may perhaps have originated in the politic caution of 
Ishmael and his son Yusuf Bey, who have further attested their 
apprehension by fortifying various points on the boundary, and by 
preventing the reparation of a bridge which had been broken down 
on the Vardari. It will probably depend less on these precautions 
than on the future state of the Turkish empire, whether the Vizier of 
Albania attempts, or refrains from, the enterprize in question. 

During the last three days of our stay at Salonica, a northerly 
wind succeeded to those we before had from the west and south- 
west, which by their attendant rain and fogs had rendered so com- 
fortless our journey from Larissa. The weather now suddenly 
became very clear and cold, the thermometer, at 8 a. m. on the morn- 
ing of the 3d of December, falling as low as 36^. Salonica is con- 

u u 5 



sidered an unhealthy place, more especially in the autumnal months, 
owing to the vicinity of the great marshes at the head of the gulph. 
Intermittent and remittent fevers are exceedingly common here, and 
during my stay in the city I was consulted upon several cases of 
3gue, as well as upon some chronic visceral complaints, which from 
their history were evidently a consequence of old and repeated 
attacks' of these fevers* It would seem that the Cinchona, as well as 
other medicines, is very ofl^i adulterated in its transit up the Medi- 
terranean. Much of that which is found in the shops at Salonica, 
and generally employed there in the treatment of agues, can by no 
means be relied upon for the relief of this disease* 

' ( 333.) 

• - 










IT was our origitial design to have returned by land from Salonica to 
Larissa, but the difficulties we had experienced in traversing this 
country, disposed us to adopt any other plan that might presen); 
itself; and finding a Greek polacca brig about to 3ail for Zeitvin^ wq 
decided, with the advice of our Salonica friends, on taking a. passage 
thither. Zeitun is a port at the head of the Maliac Gulph, and np( 
(u distant from the pass of Thermopylae. Retaining in nii^d |.h^ 
promise I had given to Veli Pasha, to visit him again at Larissa, it 
was a part of this new arrangement that I should leave my frjend a( 
Zeitun ; and, travelling with speed to fulfil my engagements pt the 
former city, should rejoin him at the same place for the prosecution 
of our journey towards Athens. We left it to the option of the Tartar 
Sulema, whether he would embark with us for the sea voyage, or 
return by land to Larissa, and were not dissatisfied that he adopted 
the resolution of accompanying us. 

The wind and weajher augured favourably for our voyage, when 
we sailed from the bay of Salonica, on the evening of the fifth 
of December, and we had reason to believe that two days woiil4 
bring us to our destined port* These predictions were lamentably 
mistaken in the event. For thirteen successive days we remained 
upon the sea, sufiering under every circumstance which might render 
a voyage comfortless and distressing^ and deriving consolation only 


from a critical escape of the greater evils of shipwreck. The day 
after our departure from Salonica, we proceeded slowly down the 
gulph with little wind, but a heavy and lurid sky, with broken masses 
of dark cloud, from which our captain derived evil prognostics. The 
interesting character of the shores was not lessened to us, however, by 
this state of the weather. On our right hand were the richly-wooded 
plains of Katrina, and those of the mouth of the Peneus, with the 
heights of Olympus and Ossa forming a magnificent barrier behind. 
On the opposite side, the eye reposed first on the peninsula, anciently 
called Pallene : the promontory of Posidium was distinctly to be seen 
as we sailed along the coast ; and the observation of the isthmus 
connecting the peninsula with the main-land, allowed us to discern 
more remotely the general situation of Potidaea and Oly nthus, cities 
which acquired celebrity in the wars between PhiUp and the Athe- 
nians. The peninsula of Pallene, which nowhere rises into lofty 
hills, is fertile and well cultivated, yeilding a considerable quantity of 
grain for exportation. Beyond the gulph of Cassandria (theToronaic 
of the ancients), which form its eastern boundary, another low and 
narrow peninsula stretches in a south-east direction into the Archie, 
pelago. Over these peninsulas, and two intermediate gulphs, we saw 
the lofty pinnacle of Mount Athos rising in the distance, appearing 
from this point of view as a vast insulated cone, with a smaller conical 
eminence arising from one of its sides*. The height of Mount AthoSt 
according to Kastner, is 3,353 feet. The modern name of this cele^ 
brated hill is Monte Santo, and its reputation among the mod^n 
Greeks is chiefly derived from the numerous assemblage of monas^ 
teries which are situated on the lower part of the mountain. 

On the night of the sixth, a high wind came upon us from the south- 
west, and we were driven so far to the eastward of our course, that the 
following morning we found ourselves not far distant from the pro^ 

^ See the taUe of the heights of moantBint in Jamesoa's Gfeognosy. 
i|i wh^ manner this esthnate of the height was made. 



montory of Mount Athos, which rose majestically through the dark 
and broken clouds that hung upon its sides. At noon, after a gloomy 
calm of half an hour, the wind suddenly went round to the north, and, 
within twenty minutes of its commencement, blew with an extreme 
degree of violence. It was one of those extraordinary gusts which are 
common in the Mediterranean during the winter season, especially in 
those parts of the sea where there are deep inlets towards the north, 
as the gulph of Lyons, the Adriatic, and the gulph of Salonica. 
Our captain, more alarmed than flattered by the event of his pre- 
dictions, decided upon taking refuge from the storm, in a port between 
the two islands of Chilidromi and Sarakino, about seventy miles 
distant from Mount Athos, in a direction south by west These 
islands are a part of that groupe of which Skiathos and Skopelos 
form the principal features, and they are little known but as the 
occasional resort of the Archipelago pirates, or as a place of casual 
shelter to the trading vessels of the Greeks. The sea was running 
high, and the. wind blowing almost with the force of a hurricane, 
when we entered the strait between the isles, leaving on the left 
hand another rocky island called Joura. Two anchors were put 
down, and we lay for an hour under the cliffs which form the southern 
shore of Chilidromi or Idromo. But as the night advancad, tiie 
storm grew yet more violent, the vessel dragged her anchors, and 
gradually drifted over towajrds the opposite shore of Sarakino, about 
three miles distant. At eight o'clock our situation became extremely 
critical ; the night dark ; a tempest of wind ; thick sleet and snow ; 
a high sea ; and the vessel drifting upon a steep rocky coast, which, 
seen through the obscurity of the night, appeared almost to hang over 
eur heads. We were summoned by the captain to prepalte for the 
worst ; we observed him addressing himself fervently to the picture 
of a saint in the cabin, before which a lamp was constantly kept 
burning; and each moment we expected to feel the shock of the 
vessel striking upon the rocks. Meanwhile the crew were not idle. 
The yards and sails were all got down to diminish the effect of the^ 
wind upon the ship, and a third anchor was. thrown out; but what 

1 ; 


proved of more importance to our safety was the vessers being driven 
past a rocky promontory, which forms the entrance to a small bay 
within Spalmador. Here we were in some degree sheltered from- 
the violence of the storm, and the anchors at length held their ground ; 
but it was a critical escape, and during the whole night we were in 
alarm, lest the danger should recur upon us. 

The view by day-Ught the following morning did not diminish 
our sense of the perils of the night. We found ourselves lying at a 
very short distance from the rocks, and saw a character of coast 
which would have rendered escape almost impossible, had we been 
thrown upon it. The wind still continued with great though abated 
violence, and attended with snow and severe cold. The thermometer 
at noon did not stand higher than 35^, and this temperature was 
the more distressing as we had no fuel on board, nor any means of 
artificial warmth. But for the state of the weather, our situation 
here would not have been unpleasant. It seemed as if we were lying 
in a large lake, without any apparent outlet : the land rising steeply 
on every side, destitute indeed of trees, but covered with wild shrubs; 
chiefly the arbutus, oleander, and varieties of ilex. We were pre-, 
vented from landing at this time, partly by the heavy surf, >still more 
by our apprehension of the pirates, who are reported to frequent 
these as well as the neighbouring isles ; and whose office, it is said, 
frequently combines together plunder and death. The Archipelago, 
in its numerous islands and channels, has long been the scene of these 
maritime depredations, which have derived impunity from the feeble- 
ness of the Turkish government, and the peculiar inertness of its 
marine. The groupe of isles, at the entrance of the gulph of Salonica, 
has been i^^rincipal resort of the pirates, partly from the number of 
vessels passing this way ; partly from the facility with which- they 
can recruit their numbers among the Albanians who come down 
upon the coast. Their stations, however, are shifted^ as may best 
suit the purposes of self-security or plunder ; and this uncertainty 
increases the terror they inspire throughout these seas. Some months 
before we visited Salonica, they had been very numerous and active 




on the ahores near Katrina} and we heard various anecdotes envincing 
their boldness, rapacitj, and ferocious disposition. Some of these 
pirates had been taken, and the remainder dislodged from this station ; 
but the passage down the gulph was still considered dangerous for 
small vessels; and we were dissuaded at Salonica from venturing to 
sea in a coasting sloop, in which it had once been our design to 
embark for Volo. 

In this mihtwfel vocation, large row-boats are chiefly employed ; 
they are crowded with men, armed with pistols and cutlasses, who 
usually attempt to board the vessels on which their attack is made. 
On this coast the greater number of the pirates are said to be native 
Albanians, either allured to this occupation by its congeniaUty with 
their habits, or driven to it as a resource in escaping from the power 
of Ali Pasha. It must be remarked, that, on this side the Grecian 
continent, every desperado is currently called an Albanian ; and the 
reputation of this people for ferocity is such, that the very name is 
made use of to excite feelings of terror ; an opinion which, it must be 
owned, is not without some foundation in their actual character and 

Of whatsoever people the pirate communities are composed, and 
with every allowance for exaggeration, it is certain that they form a 
serious impediment to the commerce of these seas, and frequently 
commit acts of the most audacious kind. It has occasionally hap- 
pened, that having captured merchants, or other persons of respect* 
able rank in life, afler stripping them of all that pertained to their 
persons, they have availed themselves of the influence of terror, in 
obtaining bonds for large sums of money, detaining their captives 
till they have actually received the price of redemption. The regard 
to life is small among men who are desperate in their fortunes ; and 
this indifference is of course the same to the life of those who may 
fall into their power. A government, like that of Turkey, would 
scarcely suppress this system of piracy in any sea ; but in the Archi- 
pelagp, the pirates derive peculiar advantages from the isles which 
crowd its surface ; some of them uninhabited, others having a popul- 

X X 


ation easily made subservient tx) schemes of illegal plunder. Occasional 
efforts are directed against them by the Turkish ships of war ; but these 
attempts in general serve but to provoke a greater boldness of enter- 
prize. A few months before this time, a vessel of the Grand Signor s 
anchored in the same port where we had been sheltered from the 
storm : the crew landed ; they were attacked by a body of pirates 
who happened to be then on the island ; eleven were killed ; and the 
remainder with difficulty effected their escape. The trade of the 
Archipelago will not be freed from these marauders, until the Greeks 
themselves can establish an armed marine, or some maritime power 
of Europe find an interest in abolishing the evil. But it would seem 
that the Mediterranean at large is destined to be the scene of this 
degradation, and that there is a policy somewhere or other licaising 
a system, which pursues the work of rapine and slavery on the finest 
sea in the world.* 

Our apprehension of pirates was partially justified by the suspicious 
appearance of some men on the shore, on the morning after our 
arrival. Two parsons only were first seen, who held out fish to us, 
and by their signs seemed to invite a landing in the boat. This con- 
tinuing some time without our answering their motions, three others 
appeared suddenly, who seemed to have been concealed amcmg the 
shrubs which covered the shore ; they remained a few minutes on the 
beach, and then retired from our view. The following day the storm 
still continued, though with less violence ; but on the morning of the 

* More than once, during my voyage in the Mediterranean, I have be^n a witness of 
the piratical tyranny exercised in these seas by the Barbary Corsairs. Near to the isle 
of Majorca, I saw the Algerine squadron pursuing, with intent to capture^ two Greek 
ships, probably 4ielonging to Hydra. QfF the bay of Cagliari a few days afterwards, I had 
the opportunity of seeing a pirate squadron with the red flag of Tunis, which, after chacing 
another Oreek vessel into a port on this coast of Sardinia, landed a body of armed men, 
who carried off nine of the inhabitants into slavery. A month beft>re this time, a single 
Tunisine ship had forcibly taken off twenty-^nine peasants from the same coast These 
outrages are constantly occurring in a sea which washes the shores of a large part of 
dvilized Europe. 


tenth, finding ourselves still detained by adverse winds, we ventured 
on shore with the boat's crew, taking precautions against any 
sudden surprize. T^his care eventually proved unnecessary. We 
met with two shepherds alone, — men, who from the rudeness of their 
dress and exterior might have been thought belonging to savage life, but 
who appeared gratified in seeing us, and eagerly gave a large wooden 
bowl of goat's milk in exchange for the bread which we proffered 
to them. They spoke a rude form of the Romaic languge, in which 
they told us that their life was passed among this groupe of isles, in 
the care of their sheep and goats ; that they had come to Sarakino 
a few days ago, and that they lived here, and in other uninhabited 
islands of the vicinity, in caves, or in huts, made of stones and brush- 
wood. They infcnrmed us that there had been pirates here a few 
wedcs ago, but believed they were now gone to the neighbouring isle 
of Skopelos. Of the people whom we had seen on the beach two 
days before, they either knew or professed to know nothing. 

The isle of Sarakino, which oiir mariners called Spalmadbr, b a 
narrow ridge of rock, stretching in a crescent-like form fi*om east to 
west; its length eight miles; its breadth nowhere exceeding two. 
The port is on the northern side the island, a deep secluded bay, 
sheltered by the surrounding rocks, and to the north by the extension 
of the opposite island of Chilidromi. This bay has ten, fifleen, and 
twenty fathoms water very near to the shore : in the strait between the 
two bles, the depth varies from twenty to fifty fathoms. The rock 
is entirely calcareous, having the character of a coarsely crystallized 
marble, and without any vestige of organic remains. The highest 
point of the isle may be about six hundred feet above the sea. Though 
not much broken in its general outline, the surface is extremdy 
rugged, being every-where covered with detached firagments of rock, 
among which the arbutus, the CiV^u^ ladaniferus^ and the Seilbt 
maritimaj grow in great abundance. The berry of the arbutus was 
at this time in its perfection ; and we carried back with us to the 
vessel a large supply of this fruit. Eaten with goat's njilk and 
sugar, it formed a very excellent dish ; and peculiarly grateful to lu 

X X 2 



at this time, when the small stock of fresh provisions we had laid 
in at Salonica was drawing towards a close. 

Another day's detention induced me to accompany the boat's 
crew in an excursion to thp western extremity of the isle of Chili- 
dromi ; where we learnt from the shepherds of Sarakino, that we 
should find a small village. Besides the Greek sailors, two or three 
passengers of the same nation were with me in the boat, one of 
them a native of Mistra, the town which stands near the site of the 
ancient Sparta. After rowing for six or eight miles between the two 
islands, we landed on the southern shore of Chilidromi, and followed 
a rugged track of two miles to the village. This isle is about 
twelve miles in length, but every-where very narrow. It is formed 
of higher land than Sarakino; the surface finely varied, and here 
and there covered with fine woods, in addition to the shrubs which 
grow here as on the neighbouring isle. Much of the rock which I 
saw was marble, both milk-white and yellow varieties. Near the 
shore in several places, I observed the occurrence of calcareous 
^ strata lying upon the former rock, which from their appearance, 
and some vestiges of shells, might be regarded as recent deposits. 
On the beach of the island I found a great deal of sponge, and the 
Scilla maritima is extremely abundant here, as well as in Sarakino. 

The village of Chilidromi is situated on a hill at the western point 
of the island ; it consists of about 150 wretched cottages, many of 
which are now untenanted ; the inhabitants having deserted the 
island, in consequence of the alarm and injuries they suffered from 
the pirates of these seas. The remaining population subsists chiefly 
upon fish, and the milk and flesh of the goats which feed upon the 
island. In two or three places only, I observed small patches of 
land under tillage, upon which the peasants were at this time occu- 
pied in the labours of the plough ; oxen being employed for this 
purpose, as on the continent of Greece. I went up alone to some 
of these people, who* expressed extreme astonishment at seeing a 
stranger in the Frank dress upon their solitary island. They 

tecosted me with civility of manner, and asked with much eager^ 



ness for snuff or tobacco ; in which request I was unfortunately not 
able to gratify them. ♦ 

Before leaving this island, I ascended a lofty pine-covered cliff 
which overhangs the sea on its southern coast. From this point, and 
favoured by the clearness of a frosty sky, I had a remarkably fine 
view of the eastern coast of the Negropont, and of the high chain of 
mountains which appears to form the central part of this island 
throughout its whole length. On the loftier summits of the chain 
much snow had aliready fallen. Several other isles of the Archipelago 
entered into the view ftt>m the chff on which I now stood ; Sarakino, 
with the Adelphi and various other rocky islets which surround it, 
was in front of me : Skopelos lay at a short distance towards the 
west : the small isle of Skangero was seen in a southern direction ; and 
beyond and over it, the higher eminences of Skyros, an island known 
to history as the spot where Theseus died in banishment. Valerius 
Maximus not improperly calls it, exsule minor insula^. Beyond 
Sarakino, the sea lies open in the direction of Lesbos, and the 
Asiatic coast, but the interval was too great to allow even fancy to 
picture to itself the view of these shores. 

There is some difficulty connected with the ancient geography of 
this groupe of isles, nor has it yet been determined with certainty, 
how we are to affix the names of Peparethos, Icos, and Halonesos, 
mentioned by various ancient writers. If we might suppose Skopelos 
to be the isle of Peparethos, we should have'lcos and Halonesos as the 
former names of Chilidromi and Sarakino ; but this supposition is 
perhaps of a doubtftil nature. X 

* Since my return to England, I have heard the report of an unhappy event, which 
occurred last year on the coast of Chilidromi, from some misunderstanding between the 
ffipt4»iy^ of an English sloop of war, and the natives. The report said that several of the 
crew of the English vessel were killed in the afiray. . 

f Skyros was celebrated for the beauty of 1^ coloured marbles, which appear to have 
been greatly valued, and much employed by the Ron^ans. 

% See Strabo, Ptolemy, and Pliny. A passage in Livy (lib. xxviiL 5.) affords some 
reason for believing Skopelos and Peparethos to be the same; but it must be owned that 
the authors of the Modem QeogtBphy mention an island caUed Pqieri, as another in 
this groap^ 


On my return to the vessel at night, I found one of the shepherds 
waiting my arrival, with his son, a young boy, who was suffering 
under a form of chronic optlialmia, for which the father wished to 
ask my advice. This man came into the cabin of the vessel, much 
as a native of the South Sea islands might have done ; gazing with 
eagerness upon ail that was before him, and expressing his pleasure 
by that uncouth laughter, which marks the extreme of rustic igno- 
rance. Neither the father nor son had ever seen a watch ; and this 
of course excited peculiar admiration and surpriza 

On the 12th of December, we availed ourselves of a partial change 
of wind to quit this port, but it was merely to change the scene of 
our ill-fortune. Scarcely had we got round the lofty promontory 
which forms the southern angle of Skopelos, when the wind became 
more adverse, increased in violence, and finally led us to seek 
shelter anew in a small bay called Panermo, on this side the island. 
Here we were detained two days ; not, however, without some re- 
monstrance against this delay, as we now began to believe our cap- 
tain unreasonably cautious and timid; a character not unusual to 
the trading Gi^eeks of the Archipelago, but which we little expected 
in him, after hearing that he had sailed round Cape Horn, and 
passed some years in the Spanish service, on the coasts of Chili and 
Peru. We found, however, an explanation of his caution, in learn- 
ing that he was himself in part an owner of the vessel, upon which 
no insurance had been effected. Such a participation of interest is 
very general among the masters of the native Levant traders ; and 
in the case of the cargo is sometimes extended to every individual of 
the crewj — a system which has many advantages, as well as certain 
inconveniences in practice. 

The weather still continued extremely cold; the thermometer 
remaining as low as from 38'' to 42% with a north-west wind. Suffer- 
ing much from this cause on board our vessel, we landed in Skopelos, 
and the sailors lighted a large fire of brush-wood, in a cave underneath 
the sea-cliffs ; a spot difiicult of access, but which bore the marks of 
having been often resorted to in the same way, either by pirates, or 
by those of more lawful occupation on the seas. The figures of ^ 


Greek sailors, and of our Tartar Sulema, crouching round the fijre in 
the recess of this cavern, might htfve formed a fine subject for a 

The isle of Skopelos, as its name denotes, is high and precipitous, 
and throughout its whole circumference, of more than 30 miles, presents 
a line of lofty cli£^ towards the sea. It is considerably larger than 
Chilidronii ; but resembles it in aspect, ai¥d evidently belongs to the 
same fcnrmation, ddached probably either by a gradual detritus^ or 
by some sudden convulsion of nature. In the channel between the 
two isles, is the insulated rock of St.Elias, which rises precipitously 
from the sea to a great height, and is obviously a part of the same 
calcareous ridge. There are two towns in Skopelos, the largest of 
which, situated on the eastern coast of the island, contains more than 
a thousand houses, and twelve Greek churches; the other, called 
Glossa, is situated on the front of a steep hill, which rises from the 
western coast. The population of the island is exclusively Greek ; 
and, like that of the other isles of the Archipelago, is more imme- 
diately subject to the government of the Capitan Pasha, the great 
admiral of Turkey. This maritime government, on the whole, is 
much less oppressive than tliat of the continental provinces ; chiefly 
owing to the diminished facility of access, which in Turkey, as I have 
elsewhere observed, may often be considered as determining the 
comparative freedom of a city or district. The habits of the Turks 
are singularly unfavourable to maritime power ; and the efforts 
they have occasionally made on the seas which immediately surround 
them, have been rather the transient effects of personal activity in 
the Capitan Pasha, than in any permanent capabilities of the nation. 
The internal government of most of the isles of the Archipelago is 
left to the Greeks, who compose their population ; and the irregular 
collection of a tribute is almost the only way in which the power of 
the Porte is manifested in its smaller insular possessions. 

The greater part of Skopelos is uncultivated, but there are some 
portions of land, especially in the vicinity of the town, which produce 
grain, as well as grapes, olives, and other fruits of this .climate. A 


party of the sailors walked over to the town, while we remained in 
the port of Panermo, from which it is about five miles distant. De- 
metrius, who accompanied them, purchased for us some wine of the 
island, grapes, figs, and a species of cake made of the must of wine, 
boiled with a certain proportion of flour, so as to form it into a paste 
sufficiently agreeable in flavour. The wine of Skopdos has long had 
repute, and is certainly preferable to many of those of continental 
Greece. This circumstance perhaps may aflbrd some proof that the 
ancient name of the isle was Peparedios ; the excellence of the Pepa- 
retbian wine being alluded to by various writers^ and particularly by 
Pliny, who mentions that the physician ApoUodorus strongly recom- 
mended its use to King Ptolemy, adding, that it was not agreeable till 
it had been kept six years *. The inhabitants of the isle are described 
to be an active industrious people, though without much education 
or refinement. The modem Greeks, like their ancestors, are fond of 
discriminating the peculiar character of the population, even in small 
districts and towns ; and a recent geographical work in the Romaic 
language, which I have already referred to, is remarkably minute in 
giving such characteristics for the various localities in this part of 
Greece, of which the authors were natives. Their description of the 
people of Skopelos and Skiathos is quoted below, and shews copious^ 
ness of epithet, whatever may be the accuracy of the picture.'^- 

On the 14th we sailed from Panermo, endeavouring to reach either 
the gulph of Volo or the island of Skiathos ; but the wind was still 
adverse, and after advancing ten or twelve miles our captain sought 
shelter in the port of Agnotas, on the west side of Skopelos, and some 
distance to the south of the town of Glossa. This coast, though high, 
is more fertile than the southern, and exhibits traces of a better cul- 

* Pttn. lib. xiv. cap. 7. Demoithenes speaks also of the wines of P^arethos, and Ovid 
describes the isle as *^ nitidse ferax olivae." Metam. lib. vii. 470. 

f In the rtfloy^af la 't^tqn'tpx^f the inhabitants of SScopelos are stated as being nrifttXi?^ 
f^iXorijbioi, 9Y^eifvifiarieUi ^etfomQto^j fiXijSovf;, ofuiittf oimos^ otxalag-ciloif tXaf ^oj. Their less 
estimable neighbours of Skiathos are described as oxyi);oi us ax^o, aitalusi •Aiyn vycufiaro^ 


tivatiOD. The port of Agnotas, winding between limestone cliffs; 
forms a deep and secluded bay, which seems as a small inland lake, 
and affords an excellent harbour to the traders of these seas. We 
found here three Greek vessels, driven in like ourselves, either by a 
real or supposed necessity, and lying closely moored under the cliff. 
Besides these vessels, we saw in the bay of Agnotas the wrecks of two 
small sloops, which, we were told, had belonged to the pirates of the 

On the 15th we again put to sea ; and, passing several small isles, 
covered with oaks, pines, and shrubs, approached the shores of 
.Skiathos, and sailed slowly along the south coast of this island. The 
name of Skiathos is asserted to be derived from the fact, that at the 
rising of the sun in the summer solstice, the shadow of Mount Athos 
is projected thus far over the intervening sea *. The island is some- 
what larger than that of Skopelos, and the soil more fertile ; but its 
inhabitants are in bad repute among their neighbours for the want of 
industry and integrity ; and there seems some foundation for one part 
at least of this charge, since their lands are cultivated in great 
measure by peasants who come over from Skopelos and the Negro- 
pont. The town of Skiathos stands on a peninsula on the north side 
of the island, and contains about 200 houses. On the southern coast 
is a wide and secure port, with a small town near it, called Oraio- 
Kastro. A Greek bishop resides in the island, taking his title con- 
jointly from Skiathos and Skopelos, over both which isles his juris- 
diction extends. 

The coast of the continent opposite Skiathos was the scene of the 
first great calamity which befel Xerxes in hi^ Grecian expedition* 
A sudden storm from the east drove a number of his vessels upon 
the coast, where, according to Herodotus, more than five hundred 

* F9my speaks of the shadow of this mountaip as stretching to Myrrhina in Lemnos» 
when the sun is going down. 

Y y 


w€re wholly lost, togediet* with many men, «nd much of the provisioo 
and treasure belonging to the anny.* 

On the evening of this day we entered the strait between the 

northern coast of Negropont, the ancient Eubaea, and that part of 

Tbessaly which was formerly ceiled Magnesia ; and when the night 

closed upon ns^ were off the high and precipitous cape which limits, 

on the eastern side, the entrance to the gulph of Yolo. This was the 

promontory CEantium of the ancients. It derives its present name 

&6m the town of Trikeri, which has an extraordinary situation on its 

western front, high in level above the sea, but surmounted bdbind by 

the conical summit of the promontory of yet greater height. This 

town is one instance, among many others, of the irregular distribution 

<ef territory and govenament in Turkey. It is of very modem origin, 

iK) long time having elapsed since the Trikeriotes inhabited n small 

island called Trikeri, in the strait between Eubsa and the main-land. 

^From this spot they were driven by the frequent and destructive 

iii€ui«ions of the pirates, and by a common consent they transferred 

Jtheir name / and abode to the peninsular promontory on which the 

-tofwn now stands. Its situation, and other circumstances, have hitherto 

^ocured an exemption from the power of the Vizier of Albania, and 

4lie place is more directly subject to the court of Constantinople and 

ihe Capitan Pasha. It enjoys, however, much more actual liberty 

than is commcm among the Greek towns ; and the effect of this, as 

^ell as of its favourable position, has been that of creating an extensive 

and prosperous commerce. Placed at the entrance of the gulphs of 

Volo and Zeitun, it <;ommands a large traffic in corn, oil, and the 

oth^ products of the country, and carries on also a very valuable 

part of the sea between the gulph of Salonica and the Negropont uppeon to 
have been anciently called Artemisiumj probabty from a temple of Diana, which stood on 
the coast at the south-east angle of Magnesia. The mountain called Tisasus, mentioned 
by Apollonius Rhodius, is easily recognized in its Utiiation to the east of Trikeri. 

TRIKERI. 3471 

export trade in tlie sponges which arc gathered in abundance on these 
shores. The town contains about 400 houses, and the population is 
eichifiively of Greeks* The occupations of almost all the inhabitants 
are those connected with the sea and commerce, and they have 
obtained a high repute for industry and enterprise. Many of the 
Greek merchants of the place are possessed of considerable wealth, 
derived from their trading adventures ; they are become extensive 
ship-owners, and employ their capital actively in the furtherance of 
th^r various traffic. 

. A few years, ago, M. Gropius, now better known as one of the 
German residoits in Athens, obtained tibe appointment of English 
Vice-Consul at Triberi, as a place subordinate to the consulship at 
Salonica. Either from commercial jealousy, however, or otha- causes 
of disagreement, the merchants of Trikeri vidently opposed dsem* 
sdves to M. Gropius; and after a shwt residence there, the grounds of 
qieurrel became so multiplied and personal, that this gentleman was 
compiled finally to leave the place, to which he has since not beioi 
able to return. The eventual importance of Trikeri as the situation 
of an English resident would probably be in reference to the timber 
of the Kegropont : in this island, and particularly as it is said in tibe 
northern parts of it, there are very extensive forests of oak, much of 
the timber of which is of large size^ and well adapted to the purposes 
of ship-building. A certain quantity is at present cut down every year ; 
and thou^ the Turkish population of Negropont is notorious through* 
out Greece for its* peculiar bigotry and harshness, it does not seem that 
any serious impediment is thrown in the Way of this consumption. 
The govemm«it of the island, conjointly with a district of the opposite 
continent, is in the hands of a Pasha ; and an arrangement made with 
this governor, whose provincial authority is probably sufficient for 
the purpose, might obtain a regular arid large supply of timber jgrpm 
the forests of tjie country. In the event of this becoming a national 
object, Trikeri woidd be a desirable situation for an EngUah resident 
combining other advantages from its posiftian at the .opesMiig of 

Y Y 2 


two gulphs, which form the principal outlets for all the export trade 
of Thessaly. 

The gulph of Volo, expanding from the channel underneath the 
promontory of Trikeri, forms a large semicircular bay towards the 
north, penetrating deeply into the district of the ancient Magnesia, 
and surrounded by mountains, some of which are well-known to 
classical lore. The gulph itself was the Sinus Pagaseticus, or Pelas^ 
gicus, of the ancients, consecrated to history as the first scene of the 
memorable Argonautic expedition, lolcos, the spot from which 
Jason is said to have embarked his band of adventurers, was at the 
h6a4 of this gulph *. It exists no longer, but nature is more durable 
in her features, and the celebrated Pelion is seen rising from the shores 
of the gulph, its sides covered as in ancient times with forests of 
venerable growth *f , springing perhaps from the same soil as those 
from which the ship Argowas framed. The name of Pelion is conse* 
crated by other recollections as the region of the Centaurs, and as one 

_ ■ 

of the hills by which it was fabled that the Giants meant to climb the 
h^ghts of Olympus and to dethrone the sovereign of the gods. The 
respective forms of Ossa and Pelion explain well that part of the 
fable which supposes the former mountain to have been placed upon 
the latter. Ossa has a steeply conical form, terminating in a points 
Pelion, on the other hand, exhibite a broad and leas abrupt outUne : 
as it is viewed from the south, two summits are seen at a cbnside):&ble 
distance from each other, — a concavity between them; but so slight as 
almost to give the effect of a table-*mountain, upon which fiction 
might readily suppose that another hill like Ossa should recline. 
The trees upon the sides and skirts of Pelion are chiefly the beech, 
chesnut^ and plane, of which the chesnut-trees in particular are said 
to be remarkable for their size and venerable age. 

* Meletius, but on doubtful authority, has placed the site of lolcos on that of the 
modem Volo. 


The gulpb of Volo took its ancient name from Pagasae, the port of 
the city of Pherae, This city, situated near the lake Boebe, and ten 
miles from the head of the gulph^ is well-known to history from the 
character of its three successive monarchs, Lycophron, Jason, and 
Alexander ; but I am not aware that any ruin? exist to testify its 
exact position. The modern town of Volo is finely situated at the 
head of the gulph, and contains about 700 houses, chiefly built of 
stone. In the same district is the large and populous town of Ma^ 
krinitza, said to contain nearly 1200 houses, and surrounded by a 
country which, though hilly, is extremely fertile in its produce of oil 
and wine. The papulation is Greek, and enjoys a comparative political 
freedom in forming a part of the property of the Sultan's sister, with^ 
out being subject to any provincial government. Numerous other 
towns or villages are scattered through the hilly and richly-wooded 
country round the skirts of Pelion, in the district of the ancient Magr 
fiesia, the population of which is partly engaged in agriculture, partly 
in manufactures connected with those of Amphiloqhia. The gulph 
of Volo forms the principal outlet for this tract of cQuntry, and from 
hence there is a large annual export of wheat, oil, tobacco, sponges, 
Slc. — the trade being almost entirely carried on in Greek vessels, 
manned by seamen of the country. 

A detailed account of the towns and villages in this flourishing 
tract of country is given in the Modern Greek Geography, the 
authors of which were natives of Melies, a town on the skirts of Pelion « 
The inhabitants of the district are generally called Zagoriotes in the 
Levant, from a town or rather a groupe of villages called Zagora, 
where there is a considerable school. The Greeks throughout the 
whole of this region, from Tempe to the gulph of Volo, enjoy certain: 
{id vantages in situation and commerce, which have already b^n 
noticed in the case of the Amphilochians, and which afford thqm 
more liberty and greater scope for exertion than are common to most 
of their countrymen. Much of the modern literature of Greece hs^^ 
come from this quarter. Anthimus Gazi, the conductor of the 
£|^«f $ Aayiof at Vienna^ is ^ native of Melies^ He has compiled an 



Helletiic and RomAic Lexicon, of which two volumes are now pub- 
lished, and reputed to possess much merit. He also published in^ 
1799i in the Romaic language, the Philosophical Grammar of our 
countryman Benjamin Martin, under the title of r^^^nx^ rSv 
^yo(ro(pticSv ^TrtrfiiASv. Kayra, a physician of Amphilochia^ has trans-* 
lated the Arithmetic and Algebra of Euler, and also the Abb6 Millot^s 
Elements of History. Daniel Philipidi of Melies, the town above^ 
mentioned, has pubUshed translations of Lalande^s Astronomy, and 
of the logic of Condillac. 

Velestino, a town near Volo, is the birth-place of the unfortunate 
Rega, a Greek whose memory is endeared to his countrymen as well 
by his "itritings as by the fate he met with while labouring for the 
liberties of his country. His active zeal at the time of the French 
revolution made him known at Constantinople, and he was way-laid 
and murdered near to Belgrade. , Besides many patriotic songs and 
ballads, some of which have been made known to the English reader^ 
he translated several works from the French and German into his 
native language. His friend Coronius, who was murdered at the 
same time with him, was the author of Greek translations c^Gesner's 
Death of Abel, of the Galatea of Florian, and of the New Robinson 
Crusoe and Psychologia of Camp. 

The rocks about Trikeri and the gulph of Volo are primitive, Con- 
sisting chiefly of marble, mica^slate, talc-slate, serpentine, &c. Con- 
necting this observation with those previously made, it will be found 
that nearly all the coasts bordering on the gulph of Salonica belong 
to the primitive formations ; and it is worthy of remark that the part of 
the country intervening between Ossa and the straits of Eubaea, cod* 
tains a large proportion of the Magnesian class of rocks. I have 
seen some fine specimens of asbestus, amianth, &c. from that part of 
it in the vicinity of the gulph of Volo. The Negropont, which forms 
a continuation of the same line, also contains a good deal of serpen-- 
tine in the ridge of mountains which runs through this isle. 

Our voyage was still retarded by adverse winds, and two days 
were occupied in the passage from Trikeri, up the gulph of Zeituiw 

]»A88AGE UP THE GULPH OF »hlTW, 351 

It was scarcely poasible, however, to regret thia deby^ while enjoy^ 
iQg the magnificent beauty of the shores which surrounded our inland 
na?igation. On the left hand were the fertile plains and richly- 
wooded hills which form the coast of Eubsea, gradually rising 
towards the mountains in the centre of the isle i on our right we had 
the bold outline of the Thessalian coast, with the ridges of PeUon and 
Othrys in the back ground ; in front of us we saw in the distance the 
loftier summits of the chain of QBta, deeply covered with their 
winter snows. As our vessel slowly proceeded up the gulph^ I 
observed near its northern ^ore the two .steep and insulated rocks, 
anciently called DeucaUon and Pyrrha, which mark the point upon 
the coast where the region of Pthiotis waceeds to that x)f Magnesia. 
At some distance beyond, but removed two or threjs miles firom the 
shore, was thesite.of Cremaste, or the Pelasg^c Lasissa, a city rendered 
illustrious as the capital of Achilles, wliose territory, as * we leaco 
from H<Hner, extended aJong this coast to the head of the MaUac 
Gulph and the banks of the Sperdbiusv compriEiog the wide and fertile 
plains which intervene between the mountain-chains of Othrys and 
jCEta. The re^on of Pthiotis, one of the five divisions of ancient 
prhessaly, is further remarkable in history as one of the earliest seats 
of the Helleniahs or Helladians ; that people, who, aflber various 
intermediate habitations, appear at length to have formed ttie b^is 
pf the great Doric emigration ^which carried their najoie as well as the 
.ctialect and government of this northern part ;of Greece into e v^ry 
part of the Peloponnesus. Pthiotis fonmed a part of the ancient 
kingdom of Deucalion, the alleged founder of. the Helladiati race"*; 
and the Grecian history of the deli:^ connect^ that event with this 
part cf Thessaly, as well as with the country further to the west, and 
bordering on the river AchelouB. This r^ion m traversed from east 
to west by the chain of Mount Othrys, forming the northern boundary 

^ See Herodot. lib. i. 56. — Hellenus, from whom this people derired their nuiie^ was 
«on to the celebrated Deucalio^ and their later appellation of Dmans was obtained from 
Doros, the son of Hdlenns. 


of the gulph, and of the broad valley of the Sperchius, further to the 
west. Of this chain, which may be considered as connecting itself 
with Pelion towards the east, the loftiest point is now the head of 
the gulph, formed by ridges which successively recede from the 
shore to a central point, at some distance from the coast. There is a 
gracefulness in the outline and general contour of the mountain, 
derived in part from this gradual recession of its ridges ; partly 
from the luxuriant vegetation, and the foliage of the olive-groves 
which cover its lower slopes towards the sea. Though we have its 
description from Virgil as the "Othryn nivalem,*' there was yet 
scarcely any snow lying upon it*. The height of the mountain, 
however, is very considerable, and perhaps there would be no exag^ 
geration in supposing it to exceed 3000 feet. 

The scenery became still more interesting as we advanced towards 
the head of the gulph ; where the chailnel, leaving a wide bay to the 
north-west, makes a sudden turn round the angle bf Eubsea, and takes 
a south-east direction to form the sea of Eubeea, and the celebrated 
strait of the Euripus. It seemed here as if we were in a great inland 
lake, girt round by a magnificent outline of mountains, promontories, 
and vallies. The point of Eubaea, round which the channel winds, 
forms a lofty conical hiU, ascending from the sea in a slope, richly 
cultivated, but broken at intervals by masses of rock projecting from 
the surface, amidst which stands the small town of Lithada. This^ 
which was formerly the promontory of Ceneus, is finely opposed to 
that o( Echinus, and to the fertile slopes and swelling ridges of 
Mount Othrys, on the northern side the channel. The eye, carried 
" along the latter shore, where it sweeps round toward the north-west, 
to forni the Malaic bay, reposes for a moment on a broad valley^ 
l)ounded on. each side by a precipitous barrier of mountains, through 
which the Sperchius flows to the sea. The mountains forming the 
southern boundary of this valley belong to the great chain of CEta ; a 

»■■ 9 * 

* jEneid lib. yii 675. 



magnificent groupe which occupied the whole of the landscape in 
f)*ont of us, presenting to the sea a line of cliffs of vast height, and 
almost perpendicular in form, and beyond these numerous elevated 
summits psissing into the remote distance. But the point which most 
interested us in this view, was the place of the everrmemorable 
Thermopylae, a spot which more than almost any other historical 
scene has been sanctified by the veneration of succeeding ages. At 
this moment, indeed, looking upon it in front, we did not see the Pass 
as a distinct feature ; but its situation was indicated by the heights 
of CEta approaching the sea, near to the mouth of the Sperchius ; 
and its importance testified by the view of this mountain*chain, 
extending itself far towards the west^ to form, in conjunction witi^ 
Pindus, a barrier between the northeri) and southern parts of Greece. 


z :& 

( 354 ) 





ON the afternoon of the 17th of December j we cast anchor 
opposite tp Stelida, a small town, built on the ascent of a hillj 
near the northern extremity of the gulph. Beyond this point to the 
mouth of the river, the water has been rendered very shallow by the 
deposit of alluvial soil, which makes it necessary for all vessels coming 
to the gulph to take in their cargoes here. Whether the situation of 
Stelida corresponds with that of the Thebes of Thessaly , which Livy 
describes as the only maritime emporium of Pthiotis, I will not 
pretend to determine*. We landed here, and entered the town, 
which is rendered agreeable by a grove of olives and orange-trees 
surrounding it. Our Tartar conducted us to the habitation of the 
Aga commanding the place, whom we found sitting on a cushion 
in a small room, with several Albanese soldiers attending him; 
himself an Albanian, and habited in the costume of his country. 
The subjection of Thessaly to Ali Pasha has introduced into every 
part of the country these fierce-looking subjects of his western territory, 
who fire well fitted to maintain his power. The Aga received us with 
politeness; gave us coffee and pipes ; and there being no horses in the 
town, provided asses for our conveyance to the city of Zeitun, which 
is about ten miles distant. 

* Lib. xxxix. cap. 25. Ptolemy and Strabo disagree materially ^bout the situation of 
thb place. 


After the long delay in our voyage, I was aiUious to commence 
immediately my journey to Larissa ; the winter being now so far 
advanced as to make it desirable that we should reach Athens as 
soon as possible. I set out, therefore, the same evening, for Zeituii, 
attended by Suiema and Demetrius ; my friend, meanwhile, returning 
to the vessel, to wait there till Demetrius had provided a residence in 
the town, where he might remain during my absence. The Spartan 
who had been our fellow-passenger from Salonica, a tall and robust 
man, was desirous also of reaching jZeitun this evening, but could not 
procure either horse or ass to carry him thither. Hearing him utter 
many complaints on this subject, I expressed surprize that he could 
not resolve to walk thus far ; and pointing across the gulph to the 
pass of Thermopylae, which was distinctly seen from the eminence 
where we stood, asked him whether he believed his ancestors,, under 
Leonidas, had come on horseback to defend Greece against the 
Persians? I had before found that he was acquainted with the history 
of this place, having himself pointed it out to me while sailing up thd 
gulph. He now appeared to feel my remark more than I had ex- 
pected ; but the suggestion was of no avail, and he chose to return 
to the vessel, rather than degrade himself by travelling on foot. 'This 
^ling is habitual in the country ; and neither Turk nor Greek, above 
9. certain rank, will submit to be seen as pedestrians, otherwise than 
in tardily pacing through the streets of their towns. 

The road to Zeitun conducted us along the skirt of the hills which 
border on the gulph, rising into the chain of Othrys towards the 
north. We were benighted before our arrival at the city ; but the 
light of a full moon guided our way, and gave at the same an obscure 
grandeur of effect to the remarkable landscape which lay before us^ 
The night was perfectly serene; the unruffled surface of the bay 
reflected a softened light from the moon-beams, which was strikingly 
contrasted with the dark cliffs of Thermopylae, rising abruptly from 
the opposite shores, and broken at intervals by deep hollows and 
recesses of the mountain. The snow-covered summits of QSta 
appeared in the distance with a faint aeriaj outline, which myght 

z z 2 . 

356 ZEITUN. 

almost have been thought a delusion on the sight. The course of the 
Sperchius was marked by a track of silvery light, winding through 
the broad valley beneath us, and finally mingling with the waters of 
the gulph. To this river Achilles made a vow of his hair, should he 
return in safety from the wars of Troy, — a vow of which his fate 
prevented the fulfilment* It is one of the most considerable of the 
Grecian streams, and though no longer the Sperchius of ancient 
times, yet its later name of Hellada consecrates to memory the 
history of the country through which it flows.* 

>Zeitun is situate on the ascent of a hill, on the northern side of the 
valley, and at the distance of about three miles frcHn the river. The 
summit of the hill, which is of conical form, is crowned by the remains 
of a castle of considerable extent. The effect of the buildings of the 
town, rising above each other on this steep ascent, and on other 
adjoining eminences, is at once singular and picturesque. In the 
lower part of the town are several mosques, surrounded, as usual, 
by cypresses ; some of which trees are here of remarkable size, and 
venerable from their age. Zeitun contains about 600 houses, and a 
population partly Turkish, partly Greek. The commerce of the 
place is rendered considerable by the large produce of grain in the 
valley of the Hellada, and in other districts of this country ; the 
greater part of which is brought down to* the gulph for exportation. 
The inland navigation afforded by this arm of the sea, is very bene- 
ficial to the interior of Thessaly; and the more so, as, with the 
exception of Volo, there are no ports on its eastern side to give an 
outlet to the produce of these plains. 

There can be little doubt that the site of Zeitun corresponds with 
that of the ancient Lamia, the city where the Macedonian Antipater 
sustained a siege, and finally repelled the Athenian general Leos* 

* There is reason to believe that this change of name» in common doubtless with many 
others in Greeoei took place during the period of the later Greek empire. The SchoKast, 
upon a funeral oration, composed by Manuel Palseologus, says, that, from his time, the 
Sperchfais received the name of Hellas. 



thencB, and which was afterwards besi^ed by the last Philip of 
Macedon, when allied with the Romans against Antiochus*. I^ivy, 
in describing the latter event, mentions the difficulty the Mace- 
donians experienced in making their mines, in consequence of the 
quantity of flint in the rock. It is worthy of notice that Zeituii 
stands on that calcareous formation so common in Greece, which is 
remarkable from the quantity of silex it contains, — a proof of the 
accuracy of the historian^s narrative. At some distance to the east of 
the town, I observed a large stream which might admit the name of 
river, bursting forth suddenly from underneath these rocks, and 
flowing towards the sea. 

It was too late when I arrived at Zeitun to apply to the Bey of 
the city, and I took up my night's lodging in the wretched apartment 
of a Khan. At an early hour the following morning, I set out on 
my journey for Larissa ; the Tartar having made use of his passport 
to procure post-horses of a better kind than those to whidi we had been 
accustomed. Besides the saurttdze who had charge of^these, another 
Turk from the post-house attended me, who, though this dress some- 
what resembled that of a Tartar, appeared to have no Other office 
than that of urging the horses forward with his whip. Demetrius 
remained at Zeitun, to prepare for my friend's arrival there. 

Larissa is distant front Zeitun about sixty miles, in a northerly 
direction. We commenced our route by ascending the chain of hills 
connected with Mount Othrys, and forming the northern boundary of 
the valley of the Hellada. These hills send down numerous successive 
ridges, with deep intervening hollows, at right angles to the direction 
of the valley. The country is open, bleak, and uncultivated ; the rock 
still entirely calcareous. Towards the higher part of the ascent, there 

* Strabo describes it as thirty stadia from the river, which connesponds with the actual 
distance of Zeitun. Livy» who is more minute, mentions its position on a hill, ovei^ 
feoking the broad valley between the city and Heradea, at the entrance of Tfaennopylie^ 
which the Romans were besieging at the same time that Philip directed his force against 
Lamia. Lib. xxxii 4.; xxxvl 25. 


is a derveni, or pass, guarded by Albanese soldiers; just beyond which, 
the situation of the road affords a very remarkable view of the valley 
beneath. The eye follows it, probably for neq^rly thirty miles, in a 
direct line towards the east-north-east, for many miles continuing very 
broad, and with a perfectly level surface ; then gradually contract^ 
ing, and ascending upwards among the mountains^ from which the 
Hellada has its origin. These mountains are near the central part of 
the Grecian continent, where the chains of (Eta and Pindus con-, 
nect themselves with each other, and with that of Parnassus approach-* 
ing from the south. Looking up the valley in this direction, I saw 
in the distance a very lofty snow-covered summit, which I conceive 
\Q be ^he Movmt Tymphrestus of the ancients*. From the same 
point also, I enjoyed a striking view of the whole groupe of Mount 
CBta, on the opposite side the valley, and particularly of the vast chffs 
which descend from these mountains even to the very level of the 
fiver, forming a singular contrast with the dead level of the plain, 
through which it flows, 

Thi9 plain is well cultivated throughout the greater part of its 
extent, the produce being chiefly grain ; and where it descends into 
\he low lands near the sea, it afibrds a luxuriant pasture to the 
horses and sheep, which are seen gra2ing in vast numbers over its 

This extraordinary landscape is very interesting in a geographical 
point of view* It shews all the eastern part of that great mountain-* 
bsgrrier which traverses in this place the continent of Greece ; aud in 
^le continuity of the precipitous outline presented to the-eye, explains 
all the importance of that narrow but celebrated pass, where the 
Greeks so well fought for the liberties of their country. 

Passing over some miles of an open rugged country, at the summit 
of this chain of hills, we descended to the Khan of Berbent, about 
ten miles from Zeitun. Thence we continued our descent into an 

^ ■ p» 1 1 » I 

^ -^ 

* See Strabo, lib. is. cap. 6. 


extensive plain > at the western extremity of which is a lake, - ten 6r 
twelve miles in circumference, with two or three sm&U villages neat 
its banks. We passed within a short distance of one of these villagles 
called Douchori, which my guides informed me* was the private 
property of Ali Pasha. The landscape here would be pleasing, werfe 
it not for the deficiency of wood, which is common to all the plains 
of ThessaJy. I am not aware that this lake is mentioned by any 
ancient writer ; and from its situation on a high level, the waters 
now accumulated here might formerly, perhaps, have been carried off 
by artificial means. The plain adjoining the lake is nearly on- the 
same level ; a small part only appears to be occupied in tillage, but 
it affords pasture to large flocks of sheep. On the northern side is 
another range of hills, low in their elevation above the plain, but 
which may also be considered to form a part of the chain of Othrysi 
On their ascent stands the small town of Avrachi, inhabited by 
husbandmen and shepherds, and belonging to the private property of 
Veli Pasha.* * 

* Continuing our progress for some miles over this second range of 
hills by a rocky and broken road, we came suddenly to the summit 
of a ridge, which breaks off abruptly towards the north, forming 9 
boundary on this 'Side to the central region of Thessaly , <p- those great 
plains which we had before traversed, in descending along the 
(Course of the Peneus to Larissa and TeiApe. I know not that I 
have ever seen a landscape more $ingular and magnificent in its 
features than, the one which was before me at this spot, rendered 
more impressive by the suddenness with which it meets the eye, and 
by its contrast with the previous scenery through which I had been 
travelling. At the moment I arrived on the ridge, the sun was 

*»»-"i^— ^v" 

* Were I to venture a conjecture^ I should say that this district may possibly have been 
the situation of Melitaeum or of Eblos, cities- mentioned by ancient geographers ; but 
the exact position of which has not been ascertained. See Thucyd. Ub.iv. 147. Herodpt. 
Jih. vii. 197. Aiso the not^ of the edit<vs of the French Strabo, torn, iii. p. 498> 


360 P^SS ^^ TiiOMOKO. 

shining brightly on the plains beneath, producing an effect -of glit- 
tering indistinctness over their surface^ It seemed like a vast lake 
above which I stood ; nor was there within a circumference of at 
least 150 miles, a single elevation sufficient to destroy this resem- 
blance. What is • appearance now, might once have been, reality; 
end it. is impossible to look down upon this great bason, its flat 
unvaried surface, and the barrier of mountains -every ^where sur- 
rounding it, without giving faith to the tradition that it was once 
covered by water. The impr^^ion is more forcible from ^is point 
of view, than from any other in which I surveyed the plains of 

At this important entrance into the plains from the south, stood 
the ancient city of Thaumaci ; and the modem Thomoko occupies 
the same remarkable site, on a lofty pinnacle of hill, to th^ left of 
the ravine along which the road descends. The houses of the town, 
which is of considerable sise, dimb the steep decUvity of the hill, and 
the summit is crowned by a castle, which in its situation seems 
almost to overhang the plains below. The extraordinary view from 
this spot has not escaped the notice of ancient writers ; and Livy 
asserts, that the' name of Thaumaci was obtained, as an expression 
of its wonderful character *. The description given by this historian 
of the place, and of the landscape, in narrating the unsuccessfril 
siege of Thaumaci by Philip, is equally remarkable for accuracy 
and spirit. From the passage, which is quoted below, it will be 
sead that Liyy adopts the same comparison of the plains to a great 
sea, spread below the eye -f*. This resemblance is much increased 

* It has been oonndered doubtftd whether this is the Thanmalda mentioned by 
Homer m <me of the fear towns under the rule of Philectetes. Siad. ii. 716. The 
editors of the French Strabo seem to regard the Thawnakia of Homer as situated 
in Magnesia, but it appears to me more probable^ that this was the place designed. 
Adjoining the modem town are some ruins, belonging perhaps to the ancient city» 

f ^^ Thaumaxd a I^lis, sinuqne Maliacd per Lamiam eunti, loco ako siti sunt, ipsis 
&ucibus imminentes, quas Coda vocant; Thessaliaeque transeimti confiragosa loca^ 


by tte particular cpntour of the mountains formihg their boundary, 
of which I cannot convey a better idea, than by giving Pliny^S 
short but emphatic description of them; " Onines theatrali modo 
inflexi,- cuneatis ante eos quinquaginta quinque urbibus*/^ This 
form of outhne is most remarkable on the southern side of the plain, 
where it is seen to form one vast semicircular sweep, even from the 
foot of the Meteora rocks, sA fer as to a ridge of hills which stretch 
forward into it, a little to the west of Thamnaci. These hills, 
though of inconsiderable height, yet from their position conceal 
that portion of the plains surrounding Larissa ;— a contraction of the 
landscape, which can scarcely be recognized, 'where all besides is so 
extensive and magnificent. 

Looking from this distant point of view at the hills, on the* oppo- 
site side of the plain, extending from behind Trikala and Zarko 
towards Olympus, I found additional cause to believe from their 
outline, that there is much primitive slate country in this district. 
The geology of a country, as well as its geography, is often best 
understood where the eye embraces most in a single view. Such 
an observation, at least, should always, if possible, precede and sue-* 
ceed the examination in detail. 

Descending rapidly along the ravine below Thomoko, w« arrived 
at a large Khan, where we halted half an hour, and made a meal 
on oUves, bread, and goats^-milk cheese. At this place, for the 
first time, my Tartar Sulema shewed himself capable of passion. 
He wished to buy or otherwise appropriate a couple of fowls, which 
the people of the Khan were unwilling that he should have. Sum- 
moned to the place by the screams of women, I found him beating 
violently with his whip, the Greek who seemed to be master of the 

implicatasque flexibus vallium vias. Ubi ventiim ad banc uxbem est, repente^ velut 
maris vasti, sic immensa panditar planities, ut subjectos campos tenxiinare oculis baud 
ftdle queas. Ab eo miraculo Thaumaci appellati. Nee altkudine solum tuta urbs^ sed 
quod saxo undique abscisso rupibus imposita est'' 
♦ JHist. Nat. libjiv. €. ». 

3 A 


Khan; and it was with much difficulty I could persuade him to 
desist from this exercise, which he accompanied with the strongest 
epithets of abusive contempt. I satisfied the man by immediate 
payment; and the fowls were given up to Sulema, and slung by the 
side of the sourudze's horse, as the material for the evening's repast. 
This Khan, judging from the rate at which we travelled, is about 
24 miles from Zeitun. 

We now entered upon the plains; still, however, skirting along 
the range of low hills, which was before noticed as intercepting the 
view towards Larissa. Over the whole of this rich and luxuriant 
country, scarcely a single tree is to be seen. The tillage also of this 
part of the plain is very partial and limited, the land being chiefly 
employed as pasture. Several large villages are scattered over its 
surface ; and our road carried us by, or rather through, two or three 
Turkish burying-grounds of great extent. There is something im- 
pressive in these assemblages of tombs, separated in situation from 
the abodes of men, but placed in the pathway of the traveller, as if 
to repder the lesson more striking from the manner of its appeal to 
the mind. 

Passing through a narrow defile between limestone rocks, in the 
range of hills just referred to, we entered the eastern portion of the 
plain ; and just as the moon was rising over the chain of Pelion, 
arrived at the town of Tzatalze; a place well known to history under 
the more celebrated name of Pharsalia, and as the scene of the 
great battle which gave to Julius Caesar a mastery over the liberties 
of his country. Tzatalze is the Turkish name of the town, but 
among the Greeks it is still commonly known by that of Phersala. 
It is situated underneath a rocky and precipitous front of hill, 
probably about 500 feet in height, and forming a semicircular sweep 
towards the north, on which side the town stands ; on this hill are the 
ruins of the ancient castle of Pharsalia. At the distance of half a 
mile to the north, flows a small river, which is probably the ancient 
Apidanus; and bo^ond this, in the same direction, the plains are 
open towards Larissa, which is about 22 miles distant. The town 


is divided into two portions; the largest, which is nearly on the 
level of the plain, inhabited exclusively by Turks ; the other situated 
among the rocks on the ascent of the hill, and with a population 
entirdy Greek. In the Turkish town, there are four mosques, and 
many large houses. The customs of this people, however, prevented 
me from obtaining a lodging in a private habitation, and I was con- 
ducted to a Khan connected with the post-house of the town. Here I 
supped and spent the evening in company with four or five Turks ; the 
whole party sitting on mats around the fire. It was a curious groupe ; 
and amusing to me as an exhibition of Turkish social intercoiu^. The 
characteristic taciturnity of the nation was shewn in long pauses, 
which no one thought himself obliged to break, and which were in 
£sLCt occupied by the assiduous smoking of all the party. When 
conversation occurred, it was carried on with a brevity of phrase 
which might have surpassed even that of the old Spartans, and with 
a perfect uniformity and sedateness of manner. The distinct enun- 
ciation of the Turks, and perhaps also the simplicity of the Turkish 
language, increase the effect of this peculiar conciseness ; and if 
the epithet phUowphical might be applied to manner alone, would 
almost in this instance warrant its use. A Tartar, just come from his 
journey, joined our party in the course of the evening. Scarcely had 
he seated himself, wken he took out his coffee-bag and silver cup, 
which all these , people carry about with them, and made his coffee, 
simply by boiling it for a couple of minutes in a small iron-pot ov€X 
the embers. This beverage seems as if indispensible to the exist- 
ence of the Turk; and a luxury which he cannot forego. The 
evening meal of the party was perfectly moderate ; consisting of a 
dish of the Turkish dubna, and the fowls, which had excited Sulema 
to so much violence at the Khan of Thomoko. We all eat, in the 
Turkish manner, with the fingers alone; the ewer and bason for 
washing being brought round as usual, both before and af);er the 

The battle of Pharsalia, as appears from the narrative of Caesar, 
was fought on the plain adjoining the town^ and immediately below 

3 A 2 


the heights which have been described. It was on the ascent of 
these heights that Pompey established his camp previously to the 
battle, his army being stationed on different points of their acclivity, 
which are extremely broken and rugged, the limestone forming itself 
into cliffs, and masses of naked rock projecting from the outline of 
the hill. As it was the object of Pompey to lead Caesar to attack 
him while in this advantageous position, so was it that of the latter 
to induce Pompey to descend to a battle in the plain. Afler a com- 
parative inaction of some days, Caesar at length succeeded in bis 
wishes. The army of Pompey, deriving confidence from its numerous 
cavalry*, and from its success at Dyrrachium, descended furllier 
from the position in the heights, and offered battle on equal ground. 
Its right rested on the banks of a stream which was doubtless the 
Apidanus, and .the line extended itself westwards, keeping the 
parallel of the heights in the rear, a position which the actual features 
of the ground make it very easy to comprehend. The skilful 
manoeuvres of Caesar and the superior hardihood of his troops decided 
the event. The efforts of the infantry were at first equal, but the 
cavalry of Pompey, which formed his lefl wing, and on which he 
placed his chief reliance for outflanking Caesar's army, was completely 
repulsed by a reserve body of infantry destined to this service, and 
their defeat speedily involved that of the whole army, with great 
destruction of lives. Pompey with his remaining troops retreated 
backwards upon the heights ; he entered the praetorium of his camp, 
but was soon obliged to fly by the soldiers of Caesar, who had ascended 
the heights in pursuit, and stormed the ramparts of the camp. A 
body of his troops betook themselves to the higher summits of the 
hill behind it, but lines were drawn around them, their position was 
destitute of water, and they were compelled to make a circuitous 
retreat towards liarissa, and afterwards to submit to the clemency of 

* This army had 7000 cavalry in the field : that of Caesar only one thousand. The 
infimtry of Pompey was more than double that of his adversary. Caes. Comment, 



the victor, in a position they had taken a few miles from Pharsalia. 
Caesar remained master of the field and of the Roman world. 

The neighbourhood of Pharsalia had been previously signalized by 
the battle between the Romans imder Quintus Flaminius and the 
Macedonians commanded by their king, Philip, in which the latter 
was defeated with the loss of about 13,000 men. This combat, the 
details of which are given by Poly bins and Livy *, and which led to 
the immediate submission of Philip, took place on the eminences 
called Cynoscephalae, to the east of Pharsalia. 

At an early hour cm the morning of the 20th, we recommenced our 
journey ; and, crossing the stream of the ancient Apidanus-f-, traversed 
the plains towards Larissa, at which place we arrived six hours after 
quitting Tzatalze, Nothing worthy of notice occurred on the route, 
except a splendid view of Olympus, seen from one point rising 
immediately over the mosques and minarets of Larissa, and now so 
deeply covered with snow that no part of its surface was left exposed 
above the mountains which lie at its feet. The surface of this part of 
the plain is varied by successive undulations, the lines of eminence 
having a pretty uniform direction from east to west. Grain is the 
principal produce of the district, and the appearance of the ploughed 
lands bore a favourable testimony to the style of cultivation. Thiere 
are no inclosures, and the deficiency of wood is equally remarkable 
as in other parts of the plain. 

Entering Larissa through its wretched and decayed suburbs, I pro- 
ceeded .to the mansion of the Archbishop, whose reception of me was 

* Liv. lib. xxxiii. 6. et seq. 

f There is some confusion in the account Strabo gives of the Apidanus, and its union 
nith the Enipeus ; but it seems most probable that it is the former river which flows in front 
of Tzatalze, that it is joined by the Enipeus, a branch of which comes from Thomoko, 
further to the west, and that the united stream flows in a northerly direction to join the 
Peneus between Zarko and Larissa. The epithet of " senex Apidanus," used by Ovid, 
(Metam. L'580.) is well applicable to the tranquil course of this stream through the 



cordial in the. extreme, and who renewed to me at once all the hospi- 
talities of his house and table. I was mortified by learning from him 
that Veli Pasha had gone a few days before to a hunting residence on 
the skirts of Ossa, and that the time of his return was by no means 
certain, though expected every day. This expedition had been 
planned when I was before at Larissa, and the Pasha had requested, 
that if I found him absent I would follow him into the country, and 
stay* there as long as was in my power. Desirous of rejoining my * 
friend at Zeitim with all possible speed, I determined to set out the 
next morning in quest of Veli Pasha, and dispatching my business 
with him, to return immediately to Larissa. Having formed this 
resolution, I sat down to enjoy the society of my friend Velara, who 
came in soon after my arrival, and remained to dinner. My further 
observation of this man did not change my former opinion of his 
merits, and I still found cause to admire the strength of his under- 
standing, his powers of satirical humour, and the extent of his acquire-* 
ments. The character of the Archbishop's dinner-table was now 
somewhat changed by the ordinances of the great fast which precedes 
and attends the solemnities of Christmas in the Greek church. This 
fast, which continues forty days, is generally observed in the most 
rigid manner by the Greeks of all classes. Yet there was little reason 
to complain of the archiepiscopal fare, which, though confined entirely 
to fish and vegetables, was cooked with so much variety of skill that 
even epicurism might have been satisfied with it. 

While strolling along the banks of the Peneus in the evening, I saw 
a long procession of horsemen approaching the city ; and advancing 
towards them, found with much satisfaction that it was Veli Pasha, 
with his officers and attendants, returning from the country. In 
passing near the spot where I stood, the Pasha observed me. He 
stopped his horse, and accosted me with many expressions of plea- 
sure at seeing me again at Larissa^ of which he said, from my long 
absence, he had begun to despair. He inquired whether I was com<* 
fortably lodged in the city, and desired to see me at the Seraglio 
early the following morning. The horse on which Veli Pasha rode was 


superbly caparisoned. Albanian soldiers attended him on each side 
on foot; and other Albanians of higher rank, as well as several of his 
principal Turkish officers, formed his retinue on horseback, all richly 
dressed, and many of them mounted on Arabian horses of great 

I supped alone with the Archbishop this evening, in his private 
chamber. By the combined assistance of broken French, Italian, and . 
Romaic, we contrived to maintain a long conversation, chiefly re- 
garding the present condition of the Greek church, on which 
subject he gave me some curious details. He entered into a minute 
comparison between the government of the Greek and Latin 
churches ; expressed a decided opinion of the superiority of the 
former, and declaimed with much emphasis against the abuses 
and absurdities of the Papal system. This separation, he said, 
from the bosom of the primitive church, was the first great viol* 
ation of the unity of the Christian world, and the source of 
almost all the evils and heresies which have since occurred. I 
ventured to refer to the earlier history of the Greek church, as a 
proof that schisms might have happened, even without the great 
leading separation of the Christian church. He continued, however, 
his invective against the Papal government, and applauses of the 
moderate and paternal character of the Greek church ; and I found 
that this was a topic, which might not be contested without the 
risk of giving offence. 

The following morning being Sunday, I again attended the ser- 
vice in the metropolitan church or Larissa. It was nearly the same 
in form as when I before witnessed it, except that on this occasion, in 
consequence of the approaching season of Christmas, the Archbishop 
addressed the congregation in a discourse of some length, and in the 
Romaic language. The subject, though one of practical morality, and 
involving but little doctrine, was nevertheless treated with much 
emphasis, and a vehemence of action and manner, greater perhaps 
than was correctly suitable to pulpit eloquence. The composition 
seemed to be in part extemporary, and shewed considerable fluency of 


At 10 o'clock, a Turk came from the Seraglio, to say. that Veli 
Pasha was waiting to see me. I went thither immediately with the 
physician Teriano; and found the Pasha sitting in an apartment 
which I had not before seen ; his two sons with him, and also his 
ministers, Pashu Bey and Achmet Bey. He sent his sons out of the 
room ; desired me to take a place close to him, which they had before 
occupied, and shewed me a profusion of civilities and attentions. 
A short interval of time was occupied by enquiries respecting our 
journey to and from Salonica, and our residence in that city. He 
asked whether we had seen Yusuf Bey; and was evidently not 
surprized that his letters had failed, in procuring us any direct atten* 
tion from the son of Ishmael of Seres. We then proceeded to 
the medical business which formed the more immediate object of my 
return to Larissa. Pashu Bey and Achmet Bey were about to quit 
the room, but Veli Pasha desired them to stay, and they again seated 
themselves on the couches near us. In acquiescence with the wishes 
of the Pasha, I had drawn up in writing my opinion of his case, 
and of the mode of treatment that might best be pursued for the 
relief of his various symptoms. This memoir, which was written in 
Italian, I now presented to him. He desired Teriano to read it aloud 
with a Greek translation; and while this was done, he continued 
smoking his pipe, listening with much attention, and occasionally 
stopping to make enquiries or comments upon what he heard. 
When the reading of the paper was finished, he renewed to me the same 
acknowledgments he had before expressed. I now made enquiries 
as to the symptoms which had occurred during the interval of my 
absence from Larissa ; and these he related to me at great length, 
and with more judgment and good sense than I could have^ 
ventured to expect. Veli Pasha may retain many of the deform- 
ities of the Turkish character, but he certainly has got rid of many 
of its prejudices. Some little change in the state of his symptoms 
had happened during this interval, which modified to a certain 
extent my recommendation of an immediate plan of treatment. 
Though my advice in some respects could not be welcome to himi 



yet he received it in good part ; and promised to adopt, as strictly as 
possible, all my directions in the method of cure prescribed. . 

This medical business lasted more than an hour. At the Pasha^s 
desire I remained with him nearly as long, after it was concludLed^ 
answering various inquiries he made respecting England, liie poli-^ 
tical state of Europe, the ancient history of difierent places id 
Greece, &c. Pashu Bey took an active part in this conversation ; 
but Achmet listened in perfect silence, anploying his hands mean<- 
while to taper his mustachios finely to a point, — an occupation very 
common among the Turkish beaux, who pride themselves on the 
beauty of this feature. Coffee, sherbet, and pipes, were brought round 
to us as usual by the attendants. Veli Pasha was urgent with me 
to remain some days at Larissa, and spoke much on this subject ; 
but I pleaded the necessity of immediately rejoining my friend 
at Zeitun, and with some difficulty obtained his permission to set 
out the following morning. After an interview of two hours, and 
the mutiml exchange of acknowledgments, I rose to take my leave. 
He got up himself from his couch, and attended me to the door of 
the apartment* 

In the afternoon of this day, I went ^vith Velara to visit a Greek 
physician of Larissa, who desired to ask my opinion about a chronic 
complaint with which he had been long affected. I found him an 
agreeable intelligeni man ; intimately conversant with ancient Greek 
literature, and. familiar also with the belles*lettres of France and 
Germany. The Archbishop brought to me also this evening, for 
medical advice, one of the ministers of the church, whoiki I found 
affected vrith cynanche toMiUaxis^ attended by a good deal of fever; 
I was about to administer an emetic to my patient, when I was told 
by the Bishop, that this remedy could not now be employed ; that he 
had officiated at mass in the morning, and that the rites of the church 
rigidly proscribed the act of vomiting so soon aft;er this ceremony. 
I remonstrated a little on the subject, but ultimately found it neces« 
sary to yield, and to adopt other means for the immediate use of my 

3 B 


patient, whose prejudices of course went along with those of his 

I passed this evening with Velara at his own house, and sat with 
him till a late hour. During part of the time, our conversation 
turned upon metaphysical topics ; an4 chiefly on the old Pyrrhonic 
doctrine of the non-existence of matter. Velara, as usual, took the 
sceptical part of the argument, in which he shewed much ingenuity, 
and. great knowledge of the more eminent controversiaUsts on this 
and • other collateral subjects. He was ignorant, however, of the 
writings of our countryman Bishop Berkley, of which I gave him a 
slight sketch, as bearing upon the topic, before us. Of the name and 
philosophy of Hume, I found him already informed. Another 


Greek was with us at the supper-table, who listeneci attentively to^the 
conversation, but took little part in it. I'his was the last time of my 
seeing Velara, and it was with a feeling of no common regret, that. I 
left a man thus eminently gifted by nature and education, yet fated 
to loiter away his days in the dull and servile routine of 9. Turkish 
Seraglio. * ^ 

On the morning of the 22d of December, I finally quitted Larissa, 
departing from the house of the hospitable Archbishop with a 
thousand good wishes and benedictions, which his kindness bestowed 
on. me. The Tartar Sulema at his own desire, and authorized by 
Veli Pasha, set out with me again towards Zeitun ; our loannina 
Tartar, Osmyn, not meeting me at Larissa, as I had expected. 
I found that he had returned there from his southern journey about 
a fortnight before, but hearing no tidings of us, had proceeded to- 
wards Salonica, to ascertain, if possible, what route we had taken. 
Scarcely had I advanced six miles from Larissa, when I saw a 
horseman galloping violently after me ; and, awaiting his approach, 
found it to be Osmyn, who had arrived in the city an hour after .my 
departure, had learnt the direction of my journey, and now came 
up to reclaim his post in my service. He told me he had been as far 
as Salonica in quest of us, and seemed to consider that his journey 


gave him an addiuonal right to attend our fnrther progress to Athens. 
Sulema, however, would not be driven from his situation ; and though 
I had wished to send one of them back to Larissa, I found it im- 
possible to do this, and was obliged to consent that both should 
accompany me to Zeitun. Notwithstanding this arrangement, 
they looked at each other with great surliness, and each one, as he 
happened to be alone with me, endeavoured by various gestures and 
phrases to interest me in his favour. 

I had a dismal ride to Tzatalze, under heavy and incessant rain, 
and on roads rendered almost impassable by the quantity of wet 
which had fallen for the last two days, dnd which lay in large pools 
.upon the plains. It seemed as if the rainy season, with which we had 
long been threatened, was new fairly commenced. I gave up all idea 
of proceeding ftuther than Tzatalze this evening, and took up my 
lodging there in the Greek quarter of the town, having previously 
tried in vain to procure shelter under a Turkish roof. The two 
Tartars slept in the same room with me, and I was much amused by 
the assiduity of their respective endeavours to recommend themselves 
to my favour. The superior activity of Osmyn, however, could not 
be mistaken. He dried my clothes, made me coffee, prepared my 
supper, and in short was unceasingly occupied in my tervice. The 
Greek family, with whom I lodged, were much akirmed by the pre- 
sence of the Tartars, and scarcely ventured to shew themselves during 
my stay in the house. 

I found a report prevailing here, which I had heard in several 
other places, that the English had just given up Santa Maura to 
Ali Pasha, and that he was immediately going to the coast viith a 
large body of troops to take possession of the island. It was easy to 
conjecture that this could not be true, and the report probably arose 
from the circumstance of the Vizier's going down to Prevesa at this 
time, with a body of five or six thousand men, to reside there for two 
or three months. Such rumours are too often circulated, as I learnt, 
for the mere purpose of drawing together quickly the Albanian 

3b 3 


soldiers $c»ttered over the country, who are easily allured by the 
prospect of an expedition, or of plimder. 

I vras detained at Tzatalze to a late hour the following morning by 
the want of horses ; and those with which we at length set out were^ 
as I afterwards found, forcibly taken by the Turkish post-master from 
the peasants entering the town. They were of Such a description, 
tiiat before we reached ithe Khan of Thomoko, the two sourudzes 
were compelled to stop on the way, and never afterwards rejoined us. 
Osmyn and Sulema, who were now left alone with nie, proposed 
passing the night at the Khan, and pointed out to me the thick and 
stormy clouds which were gathering in the evening sky. I was 
anxious, however, to proceed, knowing that my fiiend expected me 
this night ; and having procured a fresh horse to carry my luggage, 
we continued our route towards Zaitun. When at the summit <^ the 


pass of Thomoko, I looked back for the last time on the great plains 
of Thessaly, not as I had before seen them, reflectiog from their 
whole surface an unvaried blaze of light, but overhung with dark and 
broken masses of cloud, admitting at intervals the rays of a declining 
wintry sun, and giving to this vast landscape a wildness of character 
which was very imposing : I stopped some time on the suuunit of 
^e ridge to gaee upon it, and should longer have remained at this 
spot, but that the Tartars hurried me on, representing the advanced 
time of the day, and the nature of the mountain-road before us. 
Scarcely had we reached the Lake of Douchori, when the storm by 
which we had long been threatened, burst at once upon us with violent 
wind and heavy^ rain, mixed with sleet and snow. It continued and 
increased as we ascended the chain of Othrys ; and whein we axrived at 
the Khan of Berbent, it was matter of doubt whether we should vul- 
ture to, proceed, or stop for the night at this wretched hovel. After some 
hesitation we continued our jouniey* But each moment now became 
more calamitous to us : the road, in ascending to the higher ridges 
of the mountain, is narrow, rugged, and dangerous ; the ni^it was 
intensely dark, and the wind and snow beating upon us with unabated 


violence. When about two miles from the Khan, Sulema and his 
horse fell together down a precipitous declivity of rock. I was im- 
mediately behind him, but, though nothing was to be seen, I fortun- 
ately heard the noise of his fall, and stopped in time to save myself 
from the same misfortune. Drawn to the spot by Sulema's cries, 
Osmyn quitted his own horse, and with equal boldness and activity 
explored his way to the spot where his brother Tartar lay. Sulema was 
recovered, though severely bruised by his fall ; and after the interval 
of about half an hour, the two Tartars rejoined me on the spot whete 
I had remained during this time, without venturing to move a step 
on any side. The unfortunate horse was leiFt to its fate. We should 
now willingly have regained the Khan, but it w^ as perilous to repede 
as to advance; and Osmyn, bdbre desirous to halt for the night, -was 
now the first to urge the necessity of going on. Trusting ourselves 
entirely to his guidance, (for Sulema was at present as little able to 
act as myself,) we proceeded on foot, and with extreme caution, 
following the direction of the voice alone, as the obscurity of the 
night prevented us from seeing more than a few feet on any side. 
The activity of Osmyn was not less remarkable than his accurate 
knowledge of this rugged mountain-road ; every winding of which 
seemed familiar to his recollection, as if he had known them from 
his earliest boyhood. Yet the route was full of peril and difficulty to 
us; and the six midnight hours which I passed on the ridges of 
Mount Othrys, exposed alike to the dangers of the precipice, and to 
the tempest and severity of a December sky, made an impression on 
my memory which will not soon be elBfaced. It was three hours aft&t 
midnight when we arrived at Zeitiin. We luckily encountered a man 
at the post-house, who told us in what part of the city the Frank 
stranger was lodged ; and proceeding thither, I was fortunate enough 
to obtain' access to the Greek house, where my friend had lived during 
my absence. Here I found all that was needful to relieve me afler 
the toils of my long and comfortless journey;. 

( 374 y 







HAVINCr fulfilled my engagement with Veli Pasha, it now. 
became our plan to proceed immediately to Athens, taking, 
however, a somewhat circuitous route through the ancient Phocis, 
for the purpose of visiting the site of Delphi, and other objects of 
interest in this part of Greece. Before quitting Zeitun, we were 
called upon to decide between the claims of our two Tartars, each of 
whom was solicitous to attend our journey. We finally gave the 
preference of Osmyn, who, besides his priority in our service, and 
his laborious journey to Salonica in quest of us, had a further claim 
in his superior zeal and activity, of which he had afforded a striking 
proof in my perilous passage over Mount Othrys. Osmyn, too, had 
the Buyrouldi of Ali Pasha in his hands ; and this passport we found 
so much more efiicacious than that of Veli, that it was an important 
object to keep it by us. In a country, where unhappily so much is 
habitually effected by the means of terror, the traveller is compelled 
to submit to these usages of despotism, and even to avail himself of 
their influence. 

. We left Zeitun on the morning of the 23d, directing our course 
towards the pass of Thermopylae, which formed the principal object 
oftheday^s journey. Traversing the broad swampy plains which 
form the valley of the Sperchius or Hellada, we crossed this river by 

a good bridge of modern construction ; at no great distance, probably^ 



Irom the site of the ancient town of Anticyra *. The stream of the 
Hellada is inferior in size to that of the Salymprkt at Larissa, though 
at this time much swelled by the rains which had fallen incessantly 
for some days past. It enters the bay three or four miles below the 
bridge, flowing entirely through morasses, and divided into different 
channels, so as to correspK>nd well with the description Pausanias 
gives of this point of its course -f-. It appears certain, however, that 
since. the time of Herodotus, the alluvial depositions of the Spercbios 
have encroached considerably on the bay, so that this river now 
enters the sea much lower down than at the period when Thermopylae 
was Signalized by the invasion of the Persians %. From the lowness 
of the level it is probable that some saline knpregnation may be given 
to these marshy plains, rendering them more grateful as pasture to 
the. numerous herds of cattle which feed on their surface^ 

We now entered upon that narrow portion of the plain which lies 
o the south of the Hellada, intervening between this river and the 
precipitous cliffs of CEta. It was in this district, which had the name 
of Trachinia. that the vast army of Xerxes was encamped, while the 
passage of Thermopylae was disputed with him by the Grecian 
army^. Looking over the ground, and recollecting the estimate 
which Herodotus gives of the number of the Persians, it is difficult 
not to believe from this observation alone, that the historian has 
greatly exaggerated their amount, unless indeed we suppose that a 


* Herodot Hb. vii. 198. Strab. lib. ix. 

f Paiisan. lib. x, 2<x 

% It appears from the account of Herodotus, that the Asopus and other streams descend*- 
ing from QBta, which now enter the Sperchius, formerly flowed directly to the sea. 

§ See Herodot lib. vii. 198. et seq. — The name of Trachinia was derived from the 
town and fortress of Trachis, situated under the difis of CEta, about a mile and a half 
from the entrance of the pass, and at no great distance from the place whece we crossed 
the S^rchius. This town was rebuilt by the Lacedemonians about 426 years A. C, a 
few stadia from its ancient situation, and took the name of Heradea, by which we find it 
afterwards mentioned. Strab. lib. ix. — Thucydides (lib. iii.) states Heraclea to be 40 
stadia from Thermopylss^ and 20 from the sea. 


large portion of the . army was left on the northern side of the Sper*- 
chius, or thiEtt the multitude extended far to the west up the valley of 
this river. Presuming, what is probable from the season of the year^ 
that there had been a long continuance of dry weather, we may 
believe that much of the marshy ground at the mouth of the Sper- 
chius was capable of bearing the march or encampment of an army ; 
but with alj these allowances, a presumption still arises from the 
appearance of the ground against the accuracy of the historian's 

From the bridge over the river, we proceeded in a south-east 
direction towards Thermopylae, having on our right hand the Trachi- 
nian cliffs of CEta, which rise above into the lofty summits anciently 
called Kallidromos and Tichius, impending over the pass*. We 
were made aware 'of our approach to this memorable spot, as well by 
the contracting interval between the cliffs and the sea, as by the 
columns of vapour rising from the hot springs, which have given 
origin to the name of the strait. We hastened rapidly towards these 
springs, which are scarcely two miles distant from the bridge. We 
observed immediately before us the sacred eminence of Anthela, 
where the council of the Amphictyons was first assembled ; and in the 
contracted pass in which we now stood, saw the obstacle that pre- 
vented the Persians from bursting at once into Greece, — that pro- 
duced the battle and the glory of Thermopylae. 

The lapse of 2300 years has indeed made certain changes in the 
character of this spot ; yet, nevertheless, its more remarkable features 
still remain to attest the integrity of history, and the valour of those 
who here sacrificed themselves for their country. The traveller must 
not, it is true, expect to see the waves washing against the narrow 

* See Appian De Bello Syriaco, and livy, zxxvi. c. x6. — Livy's description of Ther? 
mopylas i9 extremdj accurate^ and by a slight geographical sketdi he illustrates wdl iU 
importance to the safety of Greece. The plan of the pass by M. Barbie du Bocage is on 
the whole exact, and, by extending the bay upwards over what is now mardi, accords wiA 
the description of Herodotus. 


foad which winds under the rocks of CEta. A low sw&mpy plain^ dr 
what, when I saw it, itaight wdl be termed a morass, evely-where 
intervenes betwe^i the diffs and Uie sea ; and the alluvial deposittons 
of the Sperchius appear to have been greatest on this side the baj^ 
the river now flowing for some distance opposite and parallel to the 
pass, before it loses itself in the sea. It is certain, however, that A* 
far back as the time of Herodotus, a morass formed one of the 
boundaries of the pass even in its narrowest part ; and it appears^ 
from his account, that the Phocians had artificially increased this, by 
allowing the water firom the hot springs to spread itself over the surface 
with the view of rendering the passage yet more impracticable to theit 
restless neighbours, the Thessalians *. From the description of later 
eveiits by Livy and Pausanias, it is probable, that before their time this 
swampy plain had extended itself, and become more nearly resem^ 
bling its present state.*!' 

The hot spritigs form one of the iBO&t interesting features in* the 
topography of the place ; the same in situation, the same probaUy in 
iheir j^enoin^ia, as they were at the remote period of time when 
Leonidas fought in the Pass of Thermopylae. These springs issue from 
four or five different places at the base of the cli&, and from their 
locaUty , as well as from the general outline of the pass, it becomes 
easy to trace other positions whidi are important in the hictory of 
the spot. The small plain of Anthela, in front of the springs, and 
intervening between two contractions of the pass, is still an obvious 
feature; and equally so, the emilience already mentioned ^adjoining 
to Anthela, on which, in a temple dedicated to Ceres, the meetings of 
the Amphictyonic council Were held, long before their estaUishment 

* HerodoL lib.viL 176. 

f livy (lib. xxxvi. c. 18.), describing the attack of the Roman army upon that of 
Antiochus in the Pass of Thermopylae, speaks of the ^^ loca nsqae ad mare invia {tedustri 
limo et voraginibus." — Appian, in his narradve of the same Syrian war, describes Tber- 
iQopylse as a long and narrow passage : r^ fc^ev ^uXMrvot r^&x^a xm AtAifuvo^ r^ h tXo; 
oiSetrov Tf xoi /3a^^ff^ See also Paosanias, lib. vii. c 15. 





at Delphi. At a short distance from this spot we noticed Ate broken 
firagments of a wall traversing the marsh near, the foot of the cliffs-^ an 
interesting feature, inasmuch as these, remains indicate the site of the 
wall originally buik by the Phocians, to oppose the incursions of tho 
Thessalians; afterwards repairefd by the Greeks at the time of the 
Persian invasion * ; at a later, period renewed and strengthened by 
Antiochus, when defending himself in the Pass against .the Romans ^f ; 
and, last of all, restored by Justinian when that monarch was labour- 
ing to secure the tottering empire by fortresses and walls J. This point 
is the most important in the to{K>graphy and history of Thermopylae^ 
It niay be< considered as forming the northern entrance to the strait, and 
at the same time it is that part where the passage is most contracted by 
^projection of the rocks towards the sea. It would be difficult to 
compare together ancient and modem dimensions, where. on one side 
the pass gradually declines into an impervious morass ; but it must be 
confessed, that tiiere is now no place whece it will only admit a single 
chariot to pass at a time, unless we suppose that! Herodotus. meant to 
allude: merdy to the narrowness of the road or track which even yet 
is:in.many places extremely limited by the rocky niature of the ground 
underneath the clifis. Livy, speaking of this as a military passage, 
states its breadth at sixty paces. I visited Thermopylae during the 
wet season, and after a continuance of heavy rains for several days, 
and therefore my observation does not apply to the general character 
of the spot, but I can venture to assert, that when I was there, the 
distance between the rocks and the more impassable part of the 
'ibMfrass did not in some places exceed three hundred fee^t. On the 
whole, the changes at this spot appear to be less than might have 
been expected from the nature of the situation, and the length of time 
that belongs to the history of the place. 

, • Herodot lib. viL c 1 76. 
f tiv. lib. xaucvi. c i6. . 

% Prcxx>pius (De .SjdiL lib. iv. c 2.) describes the wocks which Justinian erected at 
Thermopylaey and makes them the subjact of much eulogium. ^ 


The Trachipian clifls, or those which overhang the Pass, may be 
from four to six hundred feet in height at this point, but they decline 
in elevation towards the south. The rock is entirely an ash-coldured 
limestone, and presents externally a rude ^nd broken surface of rocky 
masses, with the wild olive, the prickly oak, and other shrubs grow*^ 
iQg in the intervals betwixt them. At some distance to thie north- 
west of the hot springs, and near tiie etitrance of the pass, there is a 
breakin the cliffs, forming the steep and rugged valley of a stream 
which descends from the mountains. From the description of Hero- 
dotus, there seems reason to believe that this stream is the AsDpus, 
and the opening in the mountains, that called Anopaea. The ruins of 
an ancient Greek fortress are seen upon a sununit of rock overhang- 
ing this place, probably one of those calstles mentioned by Livy in 
his description of the Pbss. ' 

In this part of Thiermopylse, (for the whole length of the Pass may 
be considered to exceed five miles,) those events occurred which have 
given a lasting celebrity to the spot. At the time ^ when Xerxes 
advanced with his army to the northern entrance of the strait, tlie 
Greeks wi^ stationed within th^ wall, and between this barrier and 
Anthda, the Spartans alone, under Leonidas, placing themselves m 
iront of the wall. It was here that the Persian horsem^i sent for- 
ward by Xerxes saw these men occupied in combing their hair, or in 
the gymnastic exercises of their country ; and it was in this singular 
position that the two armies remained for four days in expectation of 
the event. The combat which commenced on the fifth, and con«» 
tinned during this and the following day took place on the same spot 
of ground ; the Greeks advancing beyond their wall to meet the Per^ 
sians in the most contracted part of the Pass. It is needless to speak 
minutely of the events which are so amply recorded by Herodotus 
and Plutarch, and so well known to all who feel interest in the record 
of former times. The Greeks perceiving themselves circumvented by 
the path over the mountains, which Ephialtes discovered to the 
Persian king, retired firom the Pass, leaving only Leonidas with bis 
Spartans and the Thespians Xq sacrifice tbenaselves for their obuntry. 

3c 2 


^e scene of combat was still the same, except that iiqw having the 
Cfirtainty of deaths Lepnidas carried his companioiis forward beyond 
th« wall and the contracted part of the Pass^ and,^is Diodorus rektes, 
even into the very midst of the Persian camp *. Here the Spartan 
long fell ; his body was the object of glorious but destructive con- 
tention to the Greeks surviving him, who seeing at length the Per** 
fians advancing in their i>ear netired through the entrenchments of the 
wall, and posted themselves on the eminence of Anthela already 
d^cribed. The combat now speedily came to a close, but not before 
every Spartan had perished on the spot. The inscribed memorials 
which Greece erected here to commemorate their devotion to their 
country have now disappeared, but the natural features of Thermo- 
pylae remain and form a still more interesting record of the event. 
This pass was a second time illustrated by the bravery of the 
Greeks, and particularly of the Athenians, in defending themsdves 
a^itist the numerous, army of Gauls, under Brennus, when th^se 
barbarians were seeking to penetrate into the interior of Greece ^« 
A third time Thermopylas was the scene of battle, between the 
Romans and the army of Antiochus ; the latter stationed iathe plac^ 
of the Gredks within the pass» and behind the Phocian wall ; the 
Romans und^ their consul Acilius, attacking them from the position 
once ocicupied by Xerxes and his Persians :|;. It is w<Mthy of notice 
that in each of these ipstanoes, the event was brought about bjt the 
same means as in the Persian invasion ; the discovery to Brennus of 
a path through the mountains, obliged the Greeks to retreat, to 
prevent their being surrounded; and Antiochus was compelled to 
fly with precipitation and loss, on seeing the heights above the Pass 

< H !■< 

* Diodor. Sic* lib. xL 

f S^e tiie aocount of this invasion in Pansanius, lib. x. c 49. et teq, -^ Previo«sly to 
tbif time, the Athenians, sending a body of troo|>s to Thermopylae, had preyented Phil^ 
of Macedon from penetrating through the pass, when about to take part against t^e 
Phodans in the sacked war. 

X lit. xxxvi. 15. et seq. — Considering the nature of the ground, it is singular that 
depbanta should have been emf^loyed in this contest between the Romans and Antiochus. 

uorr spRffNGs op THERMOPVUE. 381 

occupied by Roman soldiers, who under the coma^md of M. Pordus 
Cato, had heoD secretly sent round to sieze these positions. In the 
reign of Justinian, the army of the. Huns advanced to Thennopylss, 
and discovered the path over the mountains. When the Sultan 
^jawt entered Greeoe, towards the close of the 14th century, 
there appears to have been little need of these artifices to force a 
way through Thermopyl» ; a Greek bishop, it is said, conducting 
the Mohammedan conquerors through the pass, to enslave the 
liberties of his country, 

. The mountain, route, by wliich the defences of Thermopylae have 
thus be^ rendered vain, cannot, I believe, be considered as a 
sin^ path ; but probably includes two or three tracks over the 
rocks above the Pass, which are described by ancient writers. 
There perhaps may hb some doubt as to the actual one by which 
Ephialtes ccmducted the Persians; but the general outline of the 
rcnite, and its importance to the issue of the contest, are obvious on 
the first inspection of the spot.* 

I examined with some attention the hot springs of Thermopylae. 
The water breaks out in different places at the foot of the rocks ; but 
two^potsare more i^narkable than the rest, from its appearing in 
greater quantity,* and forming small basons at its source, lliese 
basons are incrusted round. with depositions from the springs; 
and similar depositions cover a large extent of surface, over which the 
water flows towards the marshes. I brought away some specimens 
of this incrustation, which is composed of carbonate of lime, bnd 
does not appear to contain any sensible quantity of any other earthy 

* Pausanias, it may be observed, describes two mountain paths, one parsing a^ve 
TracUs, and extremely ragged; the other through the district of the CEnianes, and 
more practicable. It was by the latter, he says, that the Persians cireumvented the 
iSreeks. From this account, yiMclk perhaps, however, is not consonant with that of 
Herodotus, it seems possible that the opening in the mountains, along the edge 
of which we ascended to Leuterochori, may have been the valley of the Asopus, and the 
route which I^hialtes betrayed to the Persians. I^ocopius (De JEM. lib. iv. c 2.) 
speaks of several mountain paths, by whidi the Pass m^ht be 


substance. Ifi approaching the springs, the smell of sulphurated 
hjdrogen. is very perceptible. The water is extremely clear, but 
hard and distinctly saline t^o the taste. It comes from various open- 
ings in the rock, or in the l^asons which the springs have formed ; 
at the mouth of these fissures I found the temperature to be pretty, 
uniformly 103® or 104® Fahrenheit. From two of the springs the 
water is collected together, forming a considerable stream, which 
after turning the wheel of a mill erected within the Pass, is dispersed 
over the marshes below. 

Half a mile to the south of the mill, the Pass is again contracted 
by some rugged eminences to the* left of the road, intervening be- 
tween the cliffs and the sea; which eminences, as well as the cliffs, are 
covered with shrubs and brush-wood, giving a wild, yet picturesque 
character to the scenery. On the highest of them stands a Dervem, 
or guard house, in which there are a few Albanian soldiers, stationed 
here for the security of the pass. Beyond this spot, there is a tumulus, 
which has been supposed by some to be the spot where the Greeks 
who fell at Thermopylae * were buried by their countrymen. The 
Pass still continues towards the south, in some places, extremely 
contracted by the approach of the sea, till beyond the village of 
Mola, and the site of the ancient Alpenus, it expands out into the 
beautiftil and fertile shores, which line the Euboean strait 

We were singularly unfortunate in the day, when we surveyed 
Thermopylae. From the time we crossed the Hellada, the rain fell 
in torrents upon us, and the horizon was so thick, that we were 
unable to see the opposite coast of Euboea, or even the summits of 
the cliffs immediately above us. This state of the weather prevented 
an examination of the Pass, as minute as I could have desired to 
make. In any other spot; it might have repressed all feeling con- 
nected with the memory of former events ; but it was impossible that 
this should happen in the Pass of Thermopylae. 

* The physician Sakallarius of loaiinina gave me a copy of a short but i^nrited* Bomiic 
Ode, on die copibikt at Tbennopyhe^ \rbidi he had oonqposed after visiting that qpot. 


Quitting this remarkable place, we pursued out route towards 
Leuterochori, where we designed to pass the night ; a village situate 
among the heights of <£ta, aad in the line of the only practicable 
route across this mountain^chain. From Thermopylae we retraced 
for some way our former steps; but instead of repassing the 
Hellada, skirted for a mile or two along the foot of the high clifis, 
which are extended westward from the Pass, to form the southern 
boundary of the valley ; and thai began our ascent of the ch^in of 
CEta, by a route equally singular and interesting, but difficult and 
not fvjse from d&nger. At first we followed 'a path winding upwards 
along axleepand thickly wooded recess in the mountains, through 
which a stream flowed towards tlie sea,*. Turning them to the right, 
and rapidly ascending for nearly an hour, we canae to the very 
edge of the cliffs which overhang the valley; lofty, precipitous 
and rugged, yet clothed with a rich profusion of wood. The view 
jfrom this point of the plains of the Sperchius, of the bay, and of 
the chain of Othrys, was extremely magnificent ; and interesting; as 
the last we obtained of the region of Thessaly. We now turned 
southwards, into the interior of the 1 mountains ; our ascent was 
rapidly continued, and before long, we saw only the clouds of a 
stormy evening rolling around apd beneath us, disclosing at interi^als. 
the , outline of loftier summits, entirely a>vered with snow. There 
was something of dreary wildness , in our approach to Leuterochori ^ 
which may not easily be forgotten. Night was coming on,, and we 
were enveloped by thick fogs, which now concealed all the great 
momitain forms that surrounded us. From the elevated ^situation of 
the place, the cold was very severe ; and rendered more so. by the 
snow and sleet falling upon us. We found the village to consist of 
80 or 100 miseraMe cottages, scattered ;here and there over the 
rugged sur&ceof one of thei. heights, and constructed rudely of jnud,. 
and stones which are found on the spot. As we entered the place 

* This stream if it be not indeed the Asopus^ is either the Dyras^ or the Mdas, men- 
tioned by Herodotus. 


we saw forty or fifty people assemUed by the Hgbt of a few tapers 
in a wretched hovel, which we found to be the church ; engaged in - 
some of the religious ceremonies oS the Christmas seasoQ. The 
habitation, which our Tartar selected as one of the best in the vil-* 
lage, was scarcely accessible on horseback, frcNDOt the precipitous 
ledges of rock, under which, ias a shelter, it had been ei'ected. It 
consisted of a single apartm^Lt, with naked mud-walls, and a floor* 
ing of the naked earth ; one end of the room occupied by horses^ 
the otha: inhabited by two large famiUes ; with no other furniture 
than a few wooden and earthen vessels, and the straw^mats, and 
woollen coatsy which they used for their nightly covering. 

A large fire was lighted in the middle of the apartment ; and ail 
these poor people crowded around it, with an eag^ness which seemed 
to show that even this was a luxury they did not always obtain. 
There was an aspect of meagre wretchedness and of absolute pri** 
vaticm about them which I have seldom seen equalled. Our arrival, 
and the ferocious manner in which our Turkish attendants broke into 
the house^ produced at first mudi alarm ; the eldest daughter of otit 
of the families, who in another sphere of life, might have been a 
beauty, was hurried away into a neighbouring hovel ; in the faces 
and manner of tiiose who remained, there was silently expressed an 
habitual expectation of iU-usage, which it was painful to the mind to 
contemplate. It was the feeling of which Sterne, in his Sentimental 
Journey, has made so affecting a use. Some little presents we made 
the children, reconciled these poor people to us ; and they shewed 
themselves grateful, when we saved the master of the femily fixxn ike 
savage treatment of one of the sourudze's. When the Turks left the 
house at night, to sleep in an adjoining habitation, they became 
more easy, and to alarm succeeded a sort of famiUar curiosity, mudi 
akin to that which belongs to savage life. The young woman who 
had been concealed at our first entrance, now appeared again, and 
formed one in the groupe of gazers who surrounded us. We alL slept 
together round the embers of the fire ; an assembly of fifteen people, 
not to speak of six or eight horses, which had their quarters at the 


Other end of the apartment. Our bedding excited much surprise 
and admiration ; and we could not persuade any of the family to 
i^re to rest on their mats and capotes, before they had witnessed 
every part of the preparation for our own repose. 

The lofty mountainJevel on which Leuterochori stands, was pro- 
bably that formerly inhabited by the CBnianes* ; and it was on sc»iie 
one of the heights in this vicinity, that Hercules is said to havQ 
kindled the fire which became his own funeral pile. The consul 
Acilius, after having defeated Antiochus at Thmnopyte, marched 
his army across the chain of C£ta, to attack the ^tolians ; and in 
his way, halted at this spot, to offer sacrifice to the manes of the 
Ghrecian hero*f. The village of Leuterochori is the private property 
of Ali Pasha. His power in this district seems to. have been originally 
acquired in his office of Derv^i Pasha, and now^ extends ovar all 
the country between the gulphs of Zeitun ai^d Corinth. 

Our route from Leuterochori towards Salona and the gulph of 
Coriiith, was fairly intearesting in the nature of the scenery through 
wliich it conducted us. From this village we still continued our 
ascent of the chain of (Eta, and attained a very great height above 
the level of the sea. The mountains composing this part of the chain 
are of the finest form ; not long continued ridges, but insulated 
masses and summits, with profound- intervening hollows, and lofty 
mural precipices ; the higher devations bow covered with snow, but 
shewing to the eye extensive pine forests. spread over their acclivities ; 
and on a lower level, and in the depth of the vallies, thick woods of 
oak, plane, and other forest-^trees. A very striking feature occurs a 
few miles to the south of Leuterochori, in a profound ravine, notdn 
the ordinary scale in which iwe see this kin4 of scenery in England 
and Scotland, but formed by the opposition of cli^s, which cannot 
be less than a thousand feet in height ; and having a massive bold** 
ness of form and combination, which gives the highest efiect of 

tf • • 

* Strab. lib. 9. 428. Ptfusod. lib. i o. f Li v. lib. 36. cap. 30. 



grandeur to the eye. Beyond this again is another feature of singular 
magnificence. From the narrow road across one of the ridges of the 
chain, you look down upon a vast bason or hollow among the 
mountains ; from the midst of which rises precipitously a majestic 
mass of rock, connected by a ridge with the hills behind ; but 
appearing in itself as an insulated object, and deriving somewhat of 
animated existence from the boldness, with which it projects itself 
forward to meet the eye. The height of this cliff is very great, and 
it presents a single surface of rock from the summit to the base. 

Every part of the chain of C£ta which I saw, belongs to the great 
calcareous formation of Greece. The stratification of the limestone, 
as exhibited in its ravines and precipices, is in many places very 
regular and distinct. In the channels of the streams, descending 
from the higher points of the chains, I observed no primitive frag- 
ments ; and I conclude, therefore, that the whole of this mountain 
groupe is similarly composed. 

Our descent on the southern side of the mountains was as rapid as 
the ascent on the opposite side, and equally remarkable in the mag- 
nificence of the landscape that was spread before the eye. Below us 
lay the broad and fertile valley of the ancient Cephissus, through 
which this river flows in a tranquil course towards the plains of 
Bceotia. Beyond this valley, and forming its southern boundary, 
a lofly range of mountains extended in a line from north-west to 
south-east, rising at the latter extremity into one great mountain ; the 
summit of which attained a height far above any others in the land- 
scape. The situation, the magnitude and form of this, pointed it out 
at once as the nafpaco'og ^iKo^fiCogy the ancient and venerable Parnassus, 
which we now gazed upon for the first time. A tier of clouds hung 
round the lower parts of the mountain, which, above this line, was 
se<^n in the form of pinnacles and vast precipices appearing among the 
light clouds which floated over its surface. There was the same 
aerial effect in this mode of viewing it, as had formerly so strongly 
impressed me, in looking upwards to Olympus from the village of 


Tlie vale of the Cephissus is here three or four miles in width ; a 
great part of its extent finely wooded with oaks and plane-trees. 
Higher up the valley, towards the. sources of the river, was the region 
of the Tetrapolis of Doris ; which Strabo says, was regarded by some 
as the country whence all the Dorian tribes originally sprung. There 
are, as I am informed, the vestiges of several ancient towns in this 
district; some of which may doubtless be regarded as appertaining 
to the four cities of Doris*, but I am unacquainted with their 
exact situation. 

We crossed the valley to the Khan of Gravia on its southern side, 
where we made a meal among ten or twelve shepherds, dressed in 
coarse white woollen garments, and carrying each the primitive 
shepherd's crook. This Khan is at the entrance of a steep and 
narrow defile, traversing the lofty chain of mountains which runs 
towards the south-east, to terminate in Parnassus. This is in fact the 
range connecting Parnassus more immediately with the chains of 
Pindus, QSta, and the mountains of Locris and .£tolia; all which 
elevated ridges may be regarded as belonging to one great groupe, 
of which Pindus perhaps may be considered the central chain in 
direction and extent. The entrance to the pass at Gravia is formed 
by a very high conical mountain; the cliffs. at the lower part 
of which are opposed to each other, leaving a ravine so narrow as 
in some places barely to admit the passage of a stream, and of a 
road rapidly ascending below the rocks ; if that indeed may be called 
a road, which is simply a rocky staircase, rude and difficult of ascent. 
The cliffs are high, and fojr the most part perpendicular. The lime- 
stone of which they are composed, is hollowed out into numerous 
caves, some of which, where accessible, have been converted into 
the habitations of mountain-shepherds. 

Ascending the pass, we found it gradually enlarging; the cHffs 
thrown further back from us, but still abrupt and precipitous, and 

* Hiese ci^ wereErineoii Boeum, Pmdoe or Ai^pbitf, aad Cytmium< 

3 D 2 



TicWy clothed with pines and cedars, forniing a fio^ descrtptioii of 
scenery, and on a magnificent dcale. Two hours of most laborious 
climbing were jiequi red to conduct us to the summit of tlie chain ; 
which, like many of those traversing Greece, is so near a ridge at this 
spot, that not a yard of plane surface intervenes between the ascent 
and descent. At sonie distance below the summit, on the southern 
side, we came to a point, where an opening- in the mountains dis- 
closed to us a noble view of the distant gulph of Corinth, and the 
high mountains of the Peloponnesus beyond ; now covered, like those 
,in the north of Greece, to a gr^it depth, with snow. 

Descending yet further, tlie scenery around us lost nothing of its 
griahdeur. The road carried us along the edge of precipices and pro- 
found ravines ; and the landscape was unceasingly varied h"^ openings, 
either into the recesses of the mountains, or in a southerly direction 
towards the gulph. One point was more than commonly singular in 
its character. Here there is a junction of the vallies, or rather ravines, 
of three mountaiti-streams. The promontories, forming the angles at 
.this junction, exhibit precipitous fronts of naked rock, certainly not 
much less than a thousand feet in height, and rendered more extras 
ordinary. by the beautiful stratification of the lime-stone composing 
them. The strata are pretty uniform in thickness, which does not in 
general exceed a few yards, and are distinctly exposed from the base 
to the summit of these great promontories, so as to afford the means 
of a rude calculation as to their total height. The stratification is not 
much incUned, but is very singularly broken at right angles to its 
<lirection, so as to give in various points of the profile view of the 
cliffs, a fine example of what might be called a trap formation, in the 
original meaning of the word. I have in general, in Greece, observed 
this broken stratification of limestone to be most remarkable where 
the rock is much impregnated with iron. At the spot I am now 
describing, the surface of the rock exhibits a strong red tinge, where^ 
ever it is broken, or worn into hollows. 

The descent here becomes so precipitous, that for a mile the road 
is actually a series of stairs ; the steps low and well constructed with 

Urge *paving^tanes, and a wall /on the right Imiid. Co.. pridtect ihe 
traveller from the precipices, along the edge of whicht he isjp^aid^ 
Thii3 place is called the Kaktihskdla^ a name vwy appropriftte to . the 
character of the place. The adroitness which the horsea of Greece 
have acquired, in traversing roads of this kind, wouM have moine 
astonished me, had I not formerly observed in Ireland a still greatet 
degree of adaptation in this animal, to the circumstances' of the 
country. - 

Arrived at length in the level country, at the foot of this chain ctf 
mountains, we continued an easy route to Salona, the ancient Am*- 
phissa*. The situation of this city is vay fine, in a semicircular 
valley or basin, beneath the mountains ; which valley stretches down 
with a gradual descent, and luxuriant surface, to the shores f of ithe 
gulph of Salona, a branch of the Corinthian Gulph. An insulated 
hill rises out of the valley ; its brok^i summit covered, with the walls 
and towers of an ancient castle; the buildings of the city ^pjlead 
over the ascent, or collected around its base, and .much intermixed 
with the foliage of cypresses, orange-trees, . &c. which grow in 
gardens, or around the mosques. 

Salona cQutains more than 800 houses^ of. which it is estimated 
that 500 are inhabited by Greeks. There are seven Greek churches 
in the city, and an equal number of mosques. The vallies in the 
neighbourhood produce grain, oil, cotton, and wine ; the two former 
articles in sufficient quantity for a large exportation from the gulph ; 
whence also is carried a part of the produce of wool, from the flocks 
on the adjoining mountains -f-, Salona, with nearly the whole of 

* Meletius, as well as some earlier writers, have doubted this fact, and asserted that a 
place called Lampeni, or Lampina, represents the ancient Amphissa. 

f The export of wheat from tlie gulph of Salona, in 1 805, was estimated at about 20,000 
kilos, each kilo of 55lbs. : that of barley at 80,000 kilos. Of oil 5000 barrels were exported 
the same year: of wool about 140,000 okes: of cotton 72,000 okes, besides a anall 
quantity of valonia, honey, wax, &c. The total value of aimual exports, in the estimate I 
saw, was nearly 800,000 piastres. 



the northern coast of the gulph of Corinth, is subject to the power of 
Ali Pasha. The commandant of the city at this time was Seid 
Achmet,' a person who, a few years before, had been s&it by Ali on 
a mission to England, which he appears to have iulfilled with some 
ability. Before my return into Albania^ he had been withdrawn 
Aom the command at Salona, and I saw him frequently at loannina. 
He had acquired and retained some slight knowledge of English ; 
and his highest gratification was that of talking about his visit to 
England ; his interview with the King, for whom he entertained a 
great veneration ; and his intercourse with various people, whose 
names he preserved with a correctness which surprized me. 

The lofty pine-covered mountains seen to the west of Salona, 
were anciently included in the territory of the western Locris ; and 
the steep and rugged Corax, mentioned by Livy and Appian in their 
narratives of the Roman war with Antiochus and the ^tolians, is 
probably one of this groupe *. The mountains to the east of the 
valley are still further consecrated to history, as those of the region of 
Fhocis. Salona, in fact, may be considered an entrance on this side 
into the more classical districts of ancient Greece ; and the traveller 
here begins to tread with a more sure foot upon tlie monuments and 
/estiges of this extraordinary people. 

* Liy. lib. 36. c. 30. Appian (De BelL Syr.) calls it iMtnjA^ttrdy, mi StmSttmy^ xm 

( 391 ) 








THE liDiitation^ to the plan of this work, mentioned in the 
Preface, will lead me to pass hastily over the more classical 
parts of Greece, to which I have now conducted the reader. I 
need not, I believe, add more to the reasons I have there given. It 
would be an injustice to the subject, to describe, what I saw only in 
a very cursory manner, and during the depth of a winter of unex- 
ampled severity ; and such description is further rendered superfluous 
by the many accounts we already have of this country, much more 
perfect and valuable than I should be able to give. I continue 
then my narrative here, merely to connect by a brief outline, the' 
second journey I made in Albania, with my first visit to this and other 
districts in the north of Greece. 

Urged forwards by the cold and stormy weather which had now come 
upon us, we travelled from Salona to Athens in eight days, a period 
of time, which under other circumstances would have been much too 
short, for a country abounding in natural beauty, and in the vestiges 
of ancient history and art. The first object of interest in our route, 
was the venerable Delphi, which though its glories of inspiration 
are now gone, and its temples levelled with the ground, still preserves' 
something of sanctity in the solitary magnificence of its situation, and 
in the silence now resting upon places where all Greece once assem- 
bled to the solemnities of the Amphictyonic council, and to the con- 
tests of the Pythian games. The modern village of Kastri stands 


392 . DBl-PHi. 

upon the sacred ground, wretched in all but the scenery that sur- 
rounds it. Where the splendour of art has disappeared, that of 
nature has remained ; and standing on the spot, one cannot but 
admire that taste and spirit of ancient Greece which chose for its 
place of national assembly one possessing so many great and inipos- 
ing features. The lofty and abrupt cliffs rising behind, to form the 
two Delphic summits; the chasm, and Castalian fountain between 
these cliffs; the profound valley of the Plistus beneath, bounded on 
the opposite side by the mountain-ridge of Cirphis ; — all these objeqts 
are still in the outline befoce the eye. About the Pythian cave more 
doubt may be entertained. Various caverns in the limestone rock 
may be seen at the base of the Castalian cliffs ; but none which with 
any probability will admit of this name*. The vestiges of art, with 
the .excepticm of the stadium, the tpmbs, and niches cut in the 
rock, are equally obscure, and even the site of the temple of Apollo is 
by no means ^^stinctly ascertained, though some have fancied its 
periboles in an ancient wall of massive stones, which now supports 
the Greek' church of St. Elias, while the site of the temple of Minerva 
has been assigned to another similar wall at the church of Pan-Agia» 
on the opposite side the Castalian stream. The traces ^of antiquity i^ 
howevCT are e\^ery-where visible at Kastri in the- fragments of marble 
and Greek inscriptions scattered through the village ; and ootwith*- 

* I am disposed to think that this celebrated cave has not usually been sought for in ttie 
right place. Justin, describing the situation and feature of Delphi, says, ^^ In hoc rupis. 
anfractu, media fenpe montis altitudine, planities exigua est, atque in ea profimdum terras 
feramen quod in oracula paiet ; ex quo frigidus spiritus, vi quadam, velut vento, in sublime 
expulsus, mentes vatum in recordiam vertit," &c. lib. xxiv. c. 6. This description ttrouid 
lead to the inference, that the Pythian cave was in the. chasm at some height above die 
Castalian fountain ; and though this situation would expose it to being filled up by frag- 
ments, or to other changes, yet I should not be surprised, considering the permanence which 
often belongs to such local phenomena, were an accurate search still to discover the issue 
of carbonic acid-gas from some place among the rocks. The production of this gas would 
probably be explained by supposing a gradual formation of the sulphuric add in some 
natural piooess, and a consequent disengagement of the carbonic add of the limestMet 


»taJ3(ling all that Nero obtained from Delphi, it may be presumed 
that futm*e excavation here will still {produce much that is valuable 
of ancient sculpture. We saw lying on the ground, within the village, 
Ihe fine remains of a odossal statue, Which but two days before 
had been discovered in digging the foundations of. a cottage. 

We ascended to the summit of one of tike Castalian diffs which 
overhang the site of Delphi, a zpoodless steep^ though Gray has dther<^ 
wise pictured it, and at this time covered with snow* llie highest 
points of these cli£fs (which may be considered to form on this sdde the 
base of Parnassus,) are from six to eight hundred feet above the leVel 
of Ddphi, «-« nearly two thousand perhaps above that of the 9ea« We 
drank of iihe Gastalian fount; but insptration would have been 
impossiUe with the necessity of guarding against the pollution of 
dirty clothes, which some ragged females of the village were washiqg 
in the sacred stream. Two Greek priests att^ided us. i^ our survey 
of Delphi, *--men who in wretohedness I could well compare with the 
priests^ of Iceland, but who entirely waated the knowledge which is 
often so remarkable in the latter. 

From Ddphi we proceeded, anndst heavy, sbnms of snpw, up the 
valley of the^ Plistus to Arakova, a u>wn standing on the heights bf 
one o( the mountain-chains which are sent down ftoxa Paniassi«^« 
We passed the night here with the thermometer b^low the ftmzaig 
point, and everything around us deeply covered with snow. The next 
day's journey was toDavUa, the ancient Daulis,*— our route, a winding 
(me among the hUls at the base of Parnassus, which are still entireJy 
calcareous, covered in places by a shale, strongly impregnated with 
iron, or here and there by a coarse calcareous conglomerate. Four 
miles from Arakova, we came to the celebrated spot of the rfiTg 
jaXiu0Ai, taken by Sophocles as the scene of the murder of Laius bjc 
CEdipus. This place could not have been better characterifled to the 
eye of the poet than it is to that of the modem traveller* The three 
M>ads coming from Delphi, Daulis, and Livadia, meet in a craggy 
aiid unequal spot, and that towards Delphi in particular is much con* 

3 E 

tracted by a cliff which overhangs it. A large stone, rudely worked 
into form, has been set up at a short distance from the point of 
junction, and here a Greek who was in our train told us that one of 
their kings had been buried. These imperfect scraps of historical 
knowledge are common among the Greeks, and the stone in question 
may have been placed in some. later time, to commemorate the sup- 
posed event. 

Davlia is in a picturesque country, at the eastern foot of Parnassus* 
Though having iiow more than half circled round this great moun- 
tain^ we had only once seen its summits ; and it was but a fruitless 
labour wie undertook in ascending from Davlia to the monastery of 
Paiiagia, one of the higher habitations on its eastern acclivity. We 
found the snows so deep, and the fogs so thick, that it was impossible 
to advance further than this point, which is said to be: five hours 
journey fh)m the summit. The Corycian cave therefore, and the 
wonders of the upper part of Parnassus, (the Liakoura as it is now 
called i from the ancient Lycorea)^ were entirely concealed from our 

At Pavlia there are ruins iattesting the site of the ancient -fcity. 
Here the jplains of Boeotia open out before the traveller, who looking 
down the broad and fertile valley of the Cephissus sees in the distance 
thie marshy level of the Lake Ck>pais, and still more remotely the 
mountains bounding the strait of the Euripus. We pursued our 
journey eastwards along this valley to Cheronaea, a spot signalized 
by the great victory which gave Greece into the hands of Philip ; as 

* I am not aware that the height of Parnassus has been ascertained, but it is unquestion- 
ably one of the loftiest mountains in Ghreece. Lucian vaguely speaks of it as being higher 
than Caucasus, and Olympus higher than both. The rock of Parnassus -appears to be 
chiefly marble. 

f I am' not fiware^ however, that there are any vestiges of the temple of Mineirvsi* 
mentioned by Pausanias. The description of Liyy (lib. 32. c. i8.) would render it some- 
what doubtful whether Daulis was exactly on the same site as the modem town, perhaps 
rather on one of the abnq>t and lo% eminences a little to the south; 

UVADIA; a^5 

the scene of the first military, exploits of Alexander ; and aa the birth-f 
place of Plutarch. The ruins, of this city are extensive. Massive 
walls of the ancient Greek structure cover and circle round the summit 
of a rocky hill, on the southern side of the plain; a small amphi- 
theatre is seen, the steps of which are cut in the rock near the base of 
this hill, and on the level below there are numerous vestiges of build- 
ings and fragments of marble, with several Greek * inscriptions. 
Nothing is here to be. seen . of .the celebrated Theban lion of Ghero- 
naea, but it is possibly buried under ground, and may yet reward the 
search of some future traveller. 

The. plains adjoining Cheronaea have .been the scene of.oth^ 
battles. It was here, that Onomarchus, the commander of the Pho- 
cians in the sacred war, was defeated by the Thebans ; in this vicinity 
also, that Sylla gained a victory, over Archelaus, commanding the 
troops of his master Mithridates. 

.But a few miles intervene between this place. and Livadia, a city 
once celebrated as the site, of the oracle of.Trophonius, and still 
retaining reputation as one of the principal towns in modem Greece. 
Its situation is on the acclivity of a steep hill, surmounted by the 
reasons of a fortress which is said to have been founded, by the 
Catalans. This situation gives an air of. magnificence to the houses 
of the town, which are reckoned at nearly .2000, many of them very 
large,, and inhabited by wealthy, and respectable Greeks. The 
minarets of five mosques rise from among the other buildings, but 
the Turkish part of the population is notwithstanding very small. 

The commerce of Livadia and the adjoining, country is extensive 
and carried on t^hiefly by the gulph of Corinth -f-. The Greek mer«- 

^ There b an inicriptaon <m tlierock at Cheronaeia which I was tmal^o to decipher. 
One upon a sjtone fonning part of the barin of a fountain near the.road, relates to a oei^ 
tain Lytobulus, MA0C040N nAATHNIKGN ; but the inscription is only in part I^*ble. 

f The principal exports from this district, which has the general name of Livadia, are 
wkeaty barley, oats, maize^ P^b^ cotton, wool, dieese, honey, Sec Of these wheat is the 
principal article^ produced largely in the fisrtile plains of Bceotia» Its export in 1805 was 

3 E 2 

ehantB of the city: derive great profits from the ex|)ort of the produce 
of tfaeiir lands, and arfe much reputed both for wealth arid activity. 
We vffiited the Archon Logotheti^ the priucipai of these, a man who 
liyiesi with all the pohip of a grandee, surrounded by dependants, and 
in a house larger and more luxuriously furnished than any other I 
hiave seen in Greece^ He married the sister of Colovo of loannina, 
but iar^s at this time-^a widower, with a daughter famed in this part of 
Gireece for her * extraordiiiary beauty, and certainly uniting in the 
perfbct harmony of her. features every eulogium which fame could 
bestow. Her dress was superb, particularly in the arrangement and 
decorations of the hair, and in the ornaments round the waist. This 
young woman is since, 1 believe, married to the son of another 
wealthy Greek in livadia. The Archon Logotheti himself is a 
ciiriou& specimen c^. aJristocratic pride, struggling with the servility 
which arises from the political condition of his country .r The power 
of AH Pasha extends to Livadia in his capacity of Derveni Pasha, 
but itis h^re of k. niore modified kind than in Albania or Thessaly. 
. The most interesting ieatmre at Livadia is a vast chasm in the lime^i^ 
stom^bills 'adjoining, the town, in the low^r part of which? ravine were 
sitnatckl ' 1^ Gave of iTrophoniiis^ the Hercynian fountain, and die 
fountains of Memory and Oblivion. .These natural features still 
remain. The Hercynian fountain may bd seen gushing from under* 
neath the cliffs in a body of water, sufficient at once to form* a large 
streajn. .The other two fountains equally continue to pour out their 
ilraters from hidden sources within the rocks, and their situation may 
perhaps be preatiimed to indicate that of the date of the oraole in the 
^joining cliffs, where may still be seen the niches 'which were once 
occupied by images or votive offerings. It is not, however, ascer- 
tained with certainty which was the real cave, since there are several 
natural or artificial hollow's in the rock, and all these nearly horizontal 
in direction ; whereas the description of PausaniasTcquires also some 

estimated at about 250,000 kilos^ and the total vidue of the exports for this district the 
same year was reckoned at nearly 130,000/. 


UVADIA. 897 

perpendidular c^peniog, * into which those, consultiog. the oracle were 
obBged:to descend *• Nothing, now remains of the sacred wood of 
the oracle, which was probably in the opening of the valley below 
the ravine. If this were so, the approach to the cave must have been 
very imposing. Advancing from the plain, the stranger would paas 
through the grove rendered more obscure by it& situation ; then would 
enter suddenly the ravine^ and at the foot of its ;perpendicular cliffs, 
where the waters of the fountains gush from the rock, would fuad him*^ 
s^f at the cave of Trophonius. Of the mysterious and alarming 
rites by which this* oracle was distinguished it. is unnecessary here to 


' While at Livadia we Mt three shocks of an. earthquake, rapidly 
succeeding each bthc^ : the first of considerable violence. . They were 
followed soon afterwards by .rain. The great limertmie formation of 
Greece and the isles, seems particularly liable to this phenomenon of 

We were fortunate in an accidental meeting at lii vadia . with 
Jil. .Gropius^ who at this time was on his way irom ;Zante to AUiens. 
We.oontinued our journey together as far as Thebes, the; distance. of 
winch irom livadia is about twenty*five miles, a .route more than, 
usually interesting, as well in its actual scenery as in the perpeUul 
recollections it affords of anci^oit times. The traveller, with Fausa- 
nias as his guide, (than whom it would be difficult to. find one more 
accurate,) will ev^y-where. recognise the site of .the old /Boeotiaii 
cities, and will ^ee numerous vestiges of . them as he passes over the 
great plains of this r^on, the remains of ancient walls, the fragments 
pf marbles^ inscriptions, tumuli, Sid . Sonie ruins near a village on 

* PaiisailiM (flie his Boeotica) deacribeB t^oiethii^ fi)ce, a faaluBtnule sorroundiDig the 
cqpeningy and a ladder by which the descent was made into it. It is easy to conceive that 
in a limestone rock like that of Livadia, an earthquake, or some more gradual change 
may have filled up such a cavity ; and it may be remarked that there is one cavern at the 
foot of the difis, near the fountain of ^the, actually so &r filled up with fragments as to 
preclude any entrance. 


the north side of the plain of the Cephissuft shew the site of Orchome* 
nos, a city giving a title which we translate as King, some what unfitly 
for the correct understanding of history, which in many similar 
instances is falsely interpreted under the delusion of names. Moun- 
tainous countries, from* obvious causes, are generally portioned out 
into smaller communities than plains ; and this is particularly true in 
the ancient geography of Greece, where almost every valley and 
mountain acclivity had its respective towns or tribes, distinguished 
more or less from others by a difference of origin, government, or 
customs. These names came down to us individually from old 
times ; and history of modem composition does not always cqrrectly 
discriminate their actual magnitude, or that of the events connected 
with them. It requires the shelter of remote antiquity to sanction 
with the epithets of wars, kings, and conquests, the petty feuds of 
chieftains living in adjacent vallies of the same district 

Our route conducted us close to the ruins of Coronea and Onches- 
tus, two others * of the Boeotian cities*. Every-where, indeed, the 
vestiges of ancient population are scattered over this country, and 
scarcely a peasant at his plough but can offer a little collection of 
coins which he has gathered from the soil he tills. Oiir journey was 
rendered agreeable by fine and frosty weather, succeeding to the 
storms of the previous days ; and except that a fog, according to old 
Boeotian usage, hung over the lower part of the plains and the marsh 
Copais, we had on every side of us a clear and splendid, landscape. 
The great outline of Parnassus was now seen distinctly in its wUdle 
extent, and we had a new' and interesting feature in the chain of 
Mount Helicon, which lying oh our right hand, formed the sbutherti 
boundary of the plain for the greater part of the way between 
Livadia and Thebes. There is something remarkably picturesque 
and gracefiil in the form of this ridge, what might fit it to the imagin* 

* In this part of the plain is a large tumulus, partly perhaps natural,, but artificially 
levelled on the summit May this have been the tf te of the temple of ApoHo known to 
have existed in this vicinity? 


ation as aa abode of the muses, when they quitted the loftier heights 
of Pindus and Parnassus. Helicon has itself indeed the grandeur 
of height and steepness, but it is a grandeur softened to the eye by 
the figure of the cliffs and intervening hollows, by the woods which 
still cover them as in ancient times*, and by the beautiful slopes 
which connect the clifis with the plains at their feet. Thils cha- 
racter was not even lost at the present time, when the approach 
of winter had already covered with snow more than half the hdght 
of the mountain. 

The Lake Copais, as it is called, is now what it was formerly, an 
extensive morass, partly cultivated, partly covered with shallow pools 
of water. There can be little doubt that it was once a lake, like the 
lower plain of Thessaly ; but, unlike the latter, it appears to have 
been in great measure laid dry by the industry of man, in providing 
channels for the egress of the waters. Many villages may be seen upon 
its Jianks, or on knots of rising ground which rise from amidst the 
marsh. The plains between Livadia, Orchomenos, and Copais, are 
esteemed the finest in Boeotia, and produce a large quantity of grain, 
rice, and cotton. The Cephissus winds through them, a tranquil 
stream, the borders of which still produce those reeds which Plutarch 
commends for the excellence of the lutes they afford f. Altogether 
the landscape, here corresponds well with the ancient description of 
BcBOtia, and the epithets given to it by poets and other writers. 

Sixteen or eighteen miles firom Livadia, we tr^tversed a ridge of 
hills which separate the plains of the Cephissus and Copais from that 
of Thebes. This rocky pass is reputed as the one where the Sphinx 
proposed his perilous questions to the traveller, and there is much 
reason to betieve that it was. the spot meant by Sophocles as the scene 
of this story. The view firom the higher level of this pass is extensive 
and magnificent, and very interesting in a geographical point of 

* << Aut in iimbrosiB HeUoonis oris.'' Hor. lib. L od. 12. 
t In Vit Sflke* Flotareh also speaks of the richness of tlM 

400 THEBES. 

We proceeded along the great plain of Thebes to the city, which 
is aeen at the distance of many miles^ covering the sides and summit 
of a low hill, a spot venerable from an historical antiquity of more 
than 3000 years. The name may be considered as still preserved, — ^ 
the modern pronunciation of ThetM being merely . a change arising 
out of the Romaic sound of the letter B. The effect upon the ima^ 
gination of the traveller from the many great names and events which 
history connects with this spot, and irom the living reality of the 
scenery around it, is scarcely even removed by the wretched aspect 
of the modem town, an assemblage of five or six hundred ill-built 
houses, irregularly disused, two Turkish mosques, and several small 
Greek churches, the latter exhibiting a strange motly appearance in 
the rude mixture of modem building, with fragmente of caluj!nns and 
other sculptured marbles, the relics of the ancient Thebes. The 
house of the Vaivode isthetmly considerable building in the place* 
The Bazar forms a small square in the centre of the town, but its- 
shops are scantily provided, and th^ie^is that general air of indolence 
and neglect which belongs to most places where the Turkish popuU 
ation is predominant. Yet Thebes is said to be at this time some- 
what increasing in size, and several groupes of mud--built cottages 
now appear upon what was once the site of the lower city, described 
by Pausanias to have been in ruins at fiie age when he wrote. 

The remains of antiquity in Thebes are externally less conspicuous 
than most of the. other great cities of Greece, and even with the 
minute detail^ of Pausanias, it is difficult to. make out the positicm of 
the seven gates, or of the numerous temples which adorned the city^. 
Three or four places, indeed, may be pointed out within, or around 
the modern town, where from the form of the ground, and the 
numerous fragments of columns and marbles, it may be presumed 
that certain of these temples stood ; and I doubt ndt that when cir-* 
cumstances shall allow of excavation here, much will be found to 
repay research, even though the Mercury of Phidias or the Minerva 
of Scopias should never again be restored to light. One of these 
sppts is the small Greds church of Sl Luke, on an emineujPQ close to 

THEBSS. 40i 

tibe town; how itself in ruins, but contaaniog.varioiifi soulpritured 
marges, which have thus doubly gone to decay. Another church, to 
the south of the town, also in a ruinous state, contains . similar 
vestiges of an ancient temple. Many Greek inscriptions are; visible, 
as well in these places as in other parts of the city ; but mom interest- 
ing, because more definite objects are the fountains of Dirce.and 
Ismenus; the former at the entrance from Livadia, and probably 
near the site of the Crenean Gate; the latta: about half a mile to the 
south-east of .the city. The fountain of Ismenus forms a small pool, 
thriough which a . body of water gu^es from the rock, forming at 
:once a. considerable streatn; .Thispheaoiomenon, as I have dsewhere 
observed^ is very common in every part of :the limestone. formatiQu 
X)f Greece.* • . 

AtThebes the authority of Ali Paaha began jto fail us ; and .with 
all th« activity of our Tartar, .we; were exposed .to difficulties here, 
which had not equally occurred in other parts of our journey .•> The 
town itsdf ,is subject, to. the government of the Pasha of die Negfx^* 
pcmt; and the absence iof the Vaivode, who was attending his 
superior, threw us into the house and hands of a knavish Greek, who 
is familiarly known here by the name of Nichoktchi, and whose 
repute is of a very low kind. We remained at Thebes two daysy and 
in making our excursions around the town, were &voured l;^y dear 
frosty weather, willi the thermometer at eight a^m. at 29" ^and dO\ 
Cold, as well as a dense foggy atmosphere, was one of the character- 
istics to(, Bceotia in old times, a conjoint effect of the marshes and 
lofty » chains . of mountains which ; occupy this region. . The mond 
jeffect, : attributed to these circumstances, is perhaps less distinctly 
marked than ft^rmcrly , in ,the comparison of the Boeotians, with other 
.Greeks, all b^ng now subject to a common bondage. Yet in the 



"^'The rock at Thebes appears to be in great part a calcareous conglomerate; and 
dging from the fi^^gments, it seems that the walls of the ancient edifices of the city were 
liefly. composed of tfaiis rock, and even many of the columns of the templet. ^The eftot 
list have been greatly inferiotto that of the Pentelic.marble. 

3 F 

400 T^BSaPtA. 

passage^fiom BcBotia to Attdoa the change iB very striking ; and on 
the dry soil, anfd under the temperate climate of the latter district^ 
the Inraveller finds , a people more gay; animated, and vivacibus than 
their CQiiutry men, either of the Bceotian or Thessalian plains. 

The sMiagdr in Bceod^, ftom whatsoever side he come, can 
scarcely ^ fail of l3eing struck with* tht^ beauty of the femd^les in this 
eoimtry^^ and with ageneml style of featuite which approaches more 
to tht ieau idealj than ^ any other I recoUeet to havie s^. Such 
ob^yatac^s; it id true, are often fouhded upon partial instances; 
but here! believ^e it is not so; and the traireller, Who ibr some time 
will watch over the Hercynian fountain at Iivadia,'or tlkft of Dirce 
at Thebes, will find this statfemeiH confinned evanr by the appearance 
of the common washer-women who frequent these places. The ch-ess 
of the £snia]e peasants in the ivilla^es is on the whole pleasing, though 
it :may require some effort to be^satisfied with the otnatnents ai paras 
aildT other coii^s attached tortheh^ad j sometimes ^actu^fy ^Drming a 
cap fyr it -> ia other instances, hanging dbwd iti long strings among 
the h^ir. This^£rahion is practised even with giris who can scarcdy 
w&lkcil and> I hanre ' often been asked by ikiothers, who were ashamed 
to;b^ bn:lh^k- own account,, for some coins to append to the head 
of their Iktle daughters. The amount of this: finwy increases as thc^y 
grow up ; and . a young female pfeasant^ when : old enough to be 
ntturried, may fairly be said to cairy. her dowitjr in her dfess. 
' We left Thebes oa the lastday of the year,? deviating tfrbm the direct 
road td Athem to visit the ruins of Thespia, and the deiebrated fields 
of Leuctra and Platea. Our company fwr a^ part of tiieiway to 
Thiespia, wais a drunken Denrish going to Livltdi^, ^whme' rehement 
gesbarffl, loud speech, Jihd idioticaMaughtei, siirpHmd, and sometimes 
almoat startled .us. i . Following the Conrs^ bf a lopgnndsretired valley, 
with the eastern extremity of Helicon in front.of Jis^ W£ came to the 
ruins of Th^pia, scattered over an extensive surface of ploughed land, 
but presj^n^ing fiQ individual remains. of. j^ny importance^ Some qf 
the fragments of marbles are ircegularly placed in two small ruined 
buildings which have probably been Greek churches, constructed 


bom fehe remains of mors fmKient adificeB. In ond of tl[(!8e I^fouttd a 
marbte, having lipoia itatt iiiscription, iatvUtdi the' words ^PFa!titielei 
Athemsos'" immedlat^y strttek mtj and which is fiiith^ singular 
fiiokii the diYisioii of the outface into sihall sqiiarM, «ach squaire on 
the alternate line containing a singlfe letter. The insGription, as far 
as it was legible; stood thus : —^ -•> . ^ 


P X 









' , 


.. .^ 











































J ^ ■ 



* » 



. * 



1 ■ 




' 1 



















4 » 

The name of. Praxiteles, in connection with Thespia, is interesting; 
since it is well known that the celebrated Cupid Of this artist, which 
he himself considered the finest of his works, was presented to the 
Thespians. We learn from Cicero, that it was commop to go to 
Thespia for the sole purpose of seeing this statue.* 

The situation of Thespia is rendered agreeable by the vicinity of 
Helicon, which here^ as from most oth^r points of view, is extremely 
picteresque in its outline. In proceeding to Leuctra^ which is oply 
a few miles distant, the neighbouring chain of Cithaeron began to rise 
on the right hand ; which, continuing in an easterly direction, forms the 
general boundary between ^feoeotia and Attica. The field cf Leuctra, 
ennobled in history by the memory of Epaminondas and Pelopidas, 
is less distinct in its features than that of Platea, where we arrived in 
less than two hours afterwards ; so closely adjoining each other are 


t \i t »t^ I > [ p^ 

^ The reader will recoUed the luiepdote of the inistaress ef Pnodtd^ uto, t6 mo&Btaia 
the comparative estimation in which he held his own works, created a fidse alarm of fire, 
by which Praxitdes was brought forwards, crjdng out ** that his Cupid should be saved." 
XIVB statue is said Ux have been afterwaids transferred to Rome by Nero^ vai actually 
destroyed there by fire. 

S F 2 

404 ELATEA. 

these two celebrated scenes of Grecian prowess, against, the bar«- 
barians, and against ea<^ other. At Platea, the positions of the two 
armies during the mBuy days which preceded the battle; and the 
various points in the battle itself are determined with considerable 
exactness by the course of the Asopus,— by the small meadow island of 
(Eroe, formed between two branches of this river, ^ by the ruins of the 
city of Platea, and, by the ridges and ravines of Mount Cithaeron 
rising above it. The situation of the. camp of Mardonius, on the 
northern side the river, is likewise indicated generally by the nature 
of the ground ; and we may, perhaps, consider a spring in this 
vicinity, near to the Asopus, as the representative of the fountain of 
Gargaphia, often alluded to in the narrative of the battle. * I must 
agree, however, with Mr. Hobhouse's commentary on the field of 
Platea, that it is difficult or impossible to look over this place without 
believing that history has exaggerated the number of the combatants. 
Applyit^g the details of Herodotus to the local features, it seems, 
incredible that a multitude, much greater even than, the force in. 
modern jjattles, should have been assembled on a space of ground,, 
narrow and defined like that between the Asopus and the heights of 
Citfiaeron. I do not believe that any reference to the tactics olf 
Greek or Persian armies will obviate this diffi^culty. 

The city of Platea, twice destroyed by the enmity and superior^ 
power of the Thebans, nevertheless exhibits at this day more exter- 
nal vestiges of its ancient state, than is the case with its former 
rival. The outline of Ihe walls which are of the ancient Greek 
structure, is every-where distinct, and in many places they have still 
a height of 20 or 25 feet above the ground. The circumference of 
the city, as there defined, must have been sdmewhat more than a 
mile and a half. Thb area is filled with fragments and ruins, some 
of which, Bs at Thebes and Thespia, have been employed in the 


* It appeared to me, bjr a oompamon at that time, that the mapdi this gromid, gimi 
in the travels of Anacharsis, is not one of great accuracy. 


constructioii of a Greek church, now also gone to decay. The stoite 
here, like that of the two places just mentioned, is chiefly a calca-- 
reous conglomerate. The situation of Platea ^as fine ; on the rising 
ground above the Asopus, with the woody ridge of Cithseron rising 
behind, commanding an extensive view of the plains of Boeotia, and 
of the great mountain ranges, which bound this part of Greece. 

We passed the night at a small village called KochU, near the 
ruins; our place of lodging being an apartment into which were 
crowded, besides our own party, a large family of all ages, two 
horses, nine oxen, and two asses. The inhabitants of Kochli, as well 
as of other villages in this vicinity, are of Albanian descent, anidt 
chiefly speak the Albanese language. The females of this district 
aro dressed in a pleasing manner ; their outer garment being of white 
woollen stufi^, with deep red borders, and with tassels and other ap* 
pendages of the same colour. 

TTie new-yearVday of 1813, was signalized to us by our arrival 
at Athens. At 5 in the morning, we quitted Platea, and by the 
aid of torches carried before us, ascended over rugged paths towards 
the smnmit of Citheeron. Darkness was still spread over the plains 
of Bceotia ; but looking back upon them, we saw moving lights here 
and there, and' found that these caqie from the husbandmen who had 
already begun the labours of the plough. Crossing the snowy sum* 
mit of Cithaeron, under the dawning of a magnificent day, (the ther-- 
mometer here was at 28") we entered Attica, not far from the 
ancient town of Eleuthera, the ruined walls of which encirde a 
rugged hill to the lefl of the road. Hence for two or three hours we 
travelled through a hilly irregular country, the mountains cmnposed 
of a coarse marble, covered with forests of pine, but very bare of 
other vegetation. Leaving the defiles and narrow vallies of these 
hills, we came uporf the great Thriasian plain, at the head of the 
Eleusinian Gulph ; the waters of which bay intercepted by the isle of 
Salamis, and the line of the Attican coast, were spread before us like 
a great lake, the forms of the mountains and isles reflected on their 


placid surfkcef In the arid .{tud unfruitful soil of this plaim we 
already recognized pne featuce of the a&eient Attica. 

Ct'ossing this long level, ai;id leaving £Ieu^ to the right hand, we 
enfated npon the Via SAcm, the road by, whidi the great processions 
passed iront Atheijs to the temple of Ceres al; Eleu$i)». It conducted 
us first under the clijS^ upon the shore; then by a rapid ^spent 
betw^n the hills jEgaleon and Corydalus, names long since familiar 
to the ear. * We passed the picturesque monastery of Daphne, 
conjectured as the site of the temple of Apollo, which once stood in 
thi9 pass ; half a mile beyond, caught a view of the upper part of the 
plain. of Athens ; and a few minutes $.fterwards, in coming to a l^reak 
in the hilH heard our Tar^r shout with a loud voice^ ^^ Athena, 
MhenaV The intimation was neiedleqs^ We already had the sacred 
city before our eyes; noble in its situation, noble in its ruins, and 
in the recollection it gives of antient times and antient men- It was 
novr the lalter part of the day, and the setting sun (the first setting 
sun of 1813) thretfr a gleam of light on the western frqnt of the 
Acropolis^ and on the splendid groupe of buildings which covers its 
summit. Already the Parthenon was discernible pK-eminent oyer 
the rest; the city of Athens was seen isjnread over a great extent 
below ; the chain of Hymektus beyond ; more immediately beneath 
us the great plain and olive-groves of Athens^ conducting the eye 
in one direction to the lofty summits pf Pentelicus^ on the other to 
the Piraeus, to $alamis, y3£gina and the other isles of the gulph^ , and 
to the mountains of the Peloponnesus in the remote distance. It is 
a landscape of the most extraordinary kind, such as might strongly 
interest the stranger, even without the ledd of these associations which 
every part of the scenery so amply afibrds« . 

We descended firom the pass of the Sacred Way into the pla^n, 
traversed the venerable wood of Olives which ticcupies its central 

-•■k^— •i^BMWMMIta^aaai^Vii^^iar' 

'^^ The rock in these hills is marble^ mudh intersected by eontemporaneoos Teios of 



part ; crossed the small and divided stream of Cephissus, and at five 
o'clock entered the city by the gate, near to the temple of Theseus, 
The English, more than any other people, have cultivated the 
ancient, through the modem Athens, and one of the first persons we 
saw in approaching the place, was an Englishman, looking over an 
excavation which had been made for the purposes of research. 

t . . 

• • . • 

« t 

( 408 ) 








WE remained at Athens till nearly the end of January. I do 
not attempt to describe this celebrated spot, either in its 
ancient or modern features. The labours of travellers during the last 
century, and especially within the last few years, have done so much 
to illustrate these subjects, that all I could say would be but the 
repetition of facts already known. Richly as Athens merits all the 
talents of the antiquarian and artist, and all the feelings of the 
enthusiast in former times ; it must be confessed that the field is not 
a neglected one, and that abundant materials of art and knowledge 
have been drawn from this copious source of ancient treasures. 
Copious it may indeed be called, since research here is still amply 
productive ; and the traveller who can afford some time and exp^ice, 
may himself bring these treasures to light, even without exciting con* 
troversy as to the destruction of temples, or the defac^Bent of the 
memorials of ancient grandeur. 

Those who expect to see at Athens only the more splendid and 
obvious testimonies of its former state, will find themselves agreeably 
mistaken in the reality of the scene. It may be acknowledged that 
the Parthenon, th^Theseum, the Propyloea, the temple of Minerva 
Pohas, &c., are individually the most striking of the objects occurring 
here ; yet it may perhaps be added that they have been less interest- 


ATHEMS; 4()g 

ing singly, than in their combined relation to that wonderful groaping 
together of nature and art, which gives its peculiarity to Athens, and 
renders the scenery of this spot sonaething which is ever unique to 
the eye and recollection. Here, if any %rhere, there is a certain 
genius of the place which unites and gives a character and <;olouring 
to the whole ; and it is further worthy of remark, that this genkis loci 
is one which most strikingly connects the modem Athens with the 
city of former days. Every part of the surrounding landscape may 
be recognized as harmonious and beautiful in itself; and at the same 
time as fiimishing those features, which are consecrated by ancient 
description, by the history of heix>ic actions ; and still more as the 
scene of those celebrated schools of philosophy, which have trans- 
mitted their influence to every succeeding age. The stranger, who 
may be unable to appreciate all the architectural beauties of the 
temples of Athens, yet can admire the splendBd assemblage they form 
in thdir position, outline, and colouring; tan trace out the pictures 
of the poets in the vale of Cephissus, the hill of Colonos, and the ridge 
of Hy mcttus ; can look on one side upon the sea of Salamis, on the 
other upon the l^ights of Phyle ; and can tread upon the spots which 
have acquired sanctity from the genius and philosophy, of which they 
were once the seats. * The hill of the Areopagus, the Academy, the 
Lyceeum, the Portico,- the Pnyx, if not all equally distinct in their 
situation, yet can admit of little error in this respect ; ajid the travell^ 
may safely venture to assert to himself, that he is standing where 
Demosthenes spoke to the Athenians, and where Plato and Aristotle 
addressed themselves to thdr scholars. Nowhere, is antiqiuty so well 
substantiated a» at Athens, or its outline more completely filled up 
both to the eye and imagination. 

The impressions of this nature, which the traveller obtains, derive 
much vividness from the*number of minute vestiges surrounding him ; 
and these are often even more striking to the fancy than the greater 
memorials of ancient art. Every point in and around Athens abounds 
with such vestiges ; -^ the fragments of columns, sculptured mar Was, 



fkltfl Gj^eefc inftcrip4ii(M»8< . 3caJrceiy a single houoe but affiyrda some of 
ilme rem^insi more or less iiiutilateci ; jet all with aome interest 
ftpnexecjL to tJiem* as the represeijtativjes of a past ag«. This iaiaUiarity 
aiicl frequ^cy tvith which clas9ic names abd ipiages are brou^t 
biBf<pire the ejie, cannot £aiJ of interesting the attention ; and . it forms 
o^e of the mosjt striking circumstances to the stranger in Athens. 

The ebaracter .of the landscape around the city is very peculiar, 
even without reference to any of the features that have been described. 
There is a certain sinifplicity of outline and colouring, combined with 
the magnificence of form and extent, which contributes much to this 
particular effect. It cannot be called a rich scenery, for the dry 
90^ of Attica refuses any luxuriance of vegetation ; and, excepting 
the great dive-gvove of the plain, little wood enters into the landt- 
«cape« .Yet one of its most striking features is a soct c^ repose, which 
loay be derived. £rom the form of the hills, from their slopes into the 
ptain, and .from the tenoination of this plain, in . the placid surface 
of the gulph of Salamis ; above all, perhaps, from the resting point 
which the eye finds in the height of the Acropolis, and in the splendid 
groupe- of JTuins covering its summit. ' In this latter ^object there is a 
majestic tranqpillity) the effect of time and of its present state, which 
may not easily be described, so as to conviey an idea of the reality of the 
spot. The stranger will find himself perplexed in fixing on tiie point 
of view whencQ the aspect of these ruins is most imposing, .or their 
combination most perfect with the other groupes which surround 

The situation and outline of Hy mettus add mudi to •- the beauty of 

* The tinge of yellowish red, which has been taken in part by the marble of these 
temples, gives a peculiarity which may be considered perhaps to add to their effect This 
discoloration aris^ from the* iron in the marble, or in th^ mica, which forms a part of it 
It ia ^f), and it seems to me accurately, that the .^acoloration is less on Aose sur&oss 
w^hAre dir^tly thfe<«ea. The. cause may be, tl^at the saline paxtides.of the 
sea aUnospJiere ^econstantly yielding a small porti9n of muriatic ^d to the oxide of 
iron, which b thus insensibly carried away as it is formed. 

liie soeliery aroutid AiAam^ as well ak the summits of the moiihtaiii^ 
of Peatdicas, which terminate the landsdkpe toWatds tii^ ea»t The 
three ports of the city fere still pierfectly distifact, and thefe are many 
vestiges of the town of the PiraBus ; but these objects ate OA too small 
a scale to detain the eye^ which passes forwards to Salatnis, ^gina; 
and the other islbs of the gulph, and to the mountains of th^ Isthmus 
of Corinth, and of the Peloponn^us, in the r^note distance. 

Some part of the peculiarity of this s^eiiery may jp^haps be 
derived from the c)imate of Attica, which affords an atmosphere for 
the most part dear, dry, and tempetate ; vwy difiereht from that 
which hangs over the low plaiins tmd marshes of Bcleotia. llie penin*- 
sular situation of Attica and the nature of the suiface both contribute 
to this effect. The temperature at Athens is more uniibrm than in 
other parts of Greece, and the quantity of ^in ftdling here below the 
general average of this country. A few detftib on thiSr subject ate 
given in the subjoined note*. It may c^iainly be supposed that 

* I learn from M. Faavel that the average anniial quantity of rain at Athens ib %i ov^z 
inches* Between the mid^e of October 1812 and the ist of January 18139 the quantity 
^^nbt exceed 2} inches^ a ciAnmistance singular at this season of the year, and consider- 
ing the lieaivy raifts thatftQ dunig the'ttme period in tibe more norUMn parts of Oiee^ 
From the same gcmtlppMU^ a^d from Sigfiore Vitali, one of the pfaj^vciaas of dtedt^i 'I 
obtained a few obserratioDs as to the maxiTnum and Tninimnm of tomperatore in di£ferwt 
yesrs. In 1804, the greatest heat was on the 24th of July, equal to. 104^ of Fahrenheit ; 
but this at Athens is a very uncommoh temperature. In 1805, the makimum was 99^ on 
die 4II1 of August In 1806 and 1807 ike temperature never rose above 93^ or 94^. ^e 
nuumim in these dUferent yean vaiied from 28^ to 2^"^* In x-Bia, Ae year pr^cedUig 
my arrival, the general temperature had been rather lowthan otherwise. On t^ st$ih of 
April: snow was lying on Fames and Hymettus, the thermometer in the city standing at 
52^ On the 5 th of July it was at 93^, and reached the same height on the loth of August. 
On the 2ist of September, the heat was at 68^, on tJie 29th of September at*6i°; and at 
this average height of about 60^ it continued during the whole of October. During the 
moBdiL of Januaiy, which we passed at Athens, the average of thetbermometer fit S^a.m. did 
not exceed 40° : the highest point at which I observed it was 50^, the lowest at the same 
hour 33°. After our departure, however, the cold became more severe ; and what is veiy 
uncommon, the snow lay three or four days within the city. The coldest weather at Athene 
is usually with a north-east wind, as is perhaps the cas^ gencraDy throughout Greece, 

So 2 

412 ATHENS. 

the oaturc of the climate, here ;has an influence on the aspect under 
which its scenery and ruins^are given to the view. The state of the 
modem Athens does not appear, until lately, to have been generally 
known to the rest of Europe. Fancy has drawn for itself a wretched 
village, with houses scattered among the ruins of temples ; and few 
before this time have looked for a large and flourislhing town, well 
peopled, and containing many excellent houses, with various append- 
ages belonging to the better stage of cultivated life. Yet all this will 
be found here; and; on the identical spot which in old times was 
occupied by the sacred city of Minerva ; the name preserved, and a 
multitude of other circumstances to aid the impression which brings 
together ages thus remote in reaUty. 

I describe- these as the more general impressions which Athens is 
likely to convey in its exterior character. The place has its peculi- 
arities also in a moral point of view^ as to what, respects the manners 
and condition of its inhabitants. Though of the twelve thousand 
composing its population it is probable that a fifth part are Turks, 
and the governors both of the town and Acropohs are of this nation ; 
yet the character of the city is principally defined by its Greek popul- 
ation, and all the effective power of the place is lodged with this class 
pf the inhabitants. This is: chiefly perhaps in consequence of Athens 
not being subject to a provincial Turkish government, but annexed 
to a particular ofllice of the Seraglio at Constantinople. It may in 
piart, howev^, be attributed to the character of the Greeks of the 
city ; and it is interesting to remark that some of the features, belong- 
ing to this people are those which were among the most characteristic 
of the ancient Athenians. They are noted, even in the proverbial 
sayings of their own countrymen, for quickness, vivacity, and disposi- 
tion to intrigue ; and this, although their limited comaierce givesthem 
fewer opportunities of travelling, and their literary cultivation is much 
inferior to that of the Greeks of loannina, and of the eastern districts^ 
of Thessaly.' Scarcely a single modem Romaic work has come from 
the pen of an Athenian ; and I have found few of the Greeks so 
scantily informed of the ancient condition of their country, as are the 




people of this city, notwithstanding their frequent intercourse with 
Irav^ers from the west of Europe. 

Still the fact is true, that the Athenians of this daj furnish various 
striking memorials of their ancestors, whether it be that this is deter- 
mined by climate, or * by something of generic character in the race, 
which has been able to oppose itself to the lapse of time, and to the 
changes in political state. The scale indeed is now greatly reduced i 
but in the internal administration of the city, may still be found the 
intrigue and cabals, the same democratic spirit and fluctuating feel^- 
ings which meet us every-where in the former history of Athens*. 
The election and functions of the four Archons, and the various 
3chemes for limiting or directing the power of the Turkish Vaivode, 
are now the principal objects of political attention ; and these things 
serve to keep alive the active spirit of the population, and furnish a 
basis for party spirit and private feuds. A rude resemblance of 
Pericles still walks the streets of Athens, in the person of one of the 
Archons, a man now advanced in age, but whose faculties are still 
fully awake, and who by dint of intrigue, plausible manners, and 
knowledge of mankind, has long maintained a paramount authority 
in the place. This authority, which extends to Turks as well as 
Greeks, is externally concealed, but not on this account the less real 
in its effects.* 

The state of society in Athens is distinguished from that of other 
parts of Greece, by its greater vivacity and freedom from restraint. 
In this circumstance also there will be seen some affinity to the habits 
of the ancient Athenians, though it must be owned that the probable 
causes are peculiar in part to modem times. The feebleness of the 
Turkish government here has contributed much to this effect ; still 
more perhaps the constant residence of foreigners in the city. The 
influence of the latter circumstance is distinctly seen in various habits 

. ^ I learn that soon after we left Athens a certain degree of change was effected in the 
government of the dtjf rendering annual the electicm of the Archonsy and thereby making 
the ccnstUution more democratic* 

414 ' ATBEVB. 

and feelings of the peof^e, and has been connderably extendttd of 
late years, by the direction which English traveUers have fakta during 
their exclusion frdm other parts of the continent. There is a certain 
festivity about Athens which does not equally belong to any other 
Greek town ; the expression of slavery is les^ visibly present, andia 
actually felt in a smaller degree by the inhabitants. Even the Turks 
here seem to have lost something of their harshness, and become a 
people of quiet and inoffensive habits^ From whaisoover part of 
Turkey the tra¥eller may arrive^ he finds himself coming to a sort of 
home, where various comforts may be obtained that are unknown 
elsewhere in this country. Society is more attainable^ and the Greek 
females enter into it ' in general* with much li^ss nestaraint than tin 
loanbina or other Greek towns. 

It is not surprising then, that Athens should have beepi selected as 
a place of abode by travellers and artists^ conjoining, as they may 
here, an agreeable residence with the study of tibe finest remains of 
antiquity. Englishmen, Frendnoen, and Germans, may almost 
always be found among the inhabitants of Athens, — the first, how^ 
ever, generally in a tenfold proportion to the others, and taking 
Athens as a centre or resting place to more extensive research. The 
few French residents are chiefly old Levant? merchants ; the consul of 
this nation, M. Fauvel, is well known by his long abode here, and his 
industry and ingenuity in various objects of research. The Germans 
living in Athens are prindpally artists, employed in Greece in this 
capadty by different G»erman courts. Of the Italian residents, 
Signore Lusieri is the only one devoted to objects of art; the remain-* 
der either exercise the 'medical profession, or belong to some inferior 
station in life. The agreeableness of the place is of course much 
increased by this Frank population, many of them incidentally 
brought together with common objects of enjoyment and research. 
. We were extremely fortunate in finding at Athens at this time, 

the Honourable* Frederic North; who had returned hither some 


weeks before, after psissing the preceding year in Egypt and Syria; 

A ao(aeiiy» always valuable, was singularly so m this place ; whete 
Mr. North is regarded by all the inhabitaQte, with feelings which are 
rarely given to the passing tiBveUer *. Through the kindness of this 
^ gentlemao^ w^ .speedily became acquainted with much of the society 
of Athens, and this acquaintance was greatly extended by the many 
people who sought medical advice from me, particularly during the 
last fcHTtn^ht of our stay in the city. Among my patients here, I 
was enabled to reckon the Turkish. Vaivode, two of the Gre^ 
Archotis, 9nd different individuals in the families of the. other. Ar<^ 
chons, besidey vaiious persons of respectable Greek family, though 
not thus titled in office. A further introduction to Athenian society 
was afforded nis by a ball, winch Mr, North gave at this time to the 
inhabitants. This was not a new amusement to them, as they 
had frequently been indebted* to their English visitors for simitar 
entertainments. The ball in question wa3 attended by more than 
90 Athenians, among whom were between thirty and forty ladies, 
all habitqd in the Greek fashion, and many of them with great rich- 
ness of decoration. The. dance of the Romaika, which Lhaveelse^ 
where described, occupied the greater part of the evening ; mixed at 
intervals with the Albanitiko ; rwhich was here refined into somewhat 
l^s of wildness, than belongs to the Bative dance. The spectacle 
was altc^ether curious and amusing; not less so the preparation and 
surmises which preceded the ball, and the scandal of various kinds 
which followed it ; similar in reality to that which happens on less 

* Mr. North's merits as a scholar, and his intimate knowledge of modem Greek lite^ 
rature, have even done less in connecting- him with Greece, than his intercourse with 
the people of this comitry, . and the reputation for generous and enlightened .liberality, 
he has every-where left behind him. This is especiaQy true with respect to Athens, where 
he has aided in various ways the public interests of the place, and at the same time 
obtained the afiection of the inhabitants by numerous acts of individual kindness* 

We were fortunate also in meeting here the mission of the Dilettanti Society, at this 
time on their return from the coasts of Ionia. The valuable results obtained by Sir 
W. Gdl and his associates, as well ih Asia Minor as in Greece^ are now on tlie point 

' • * ■ 

of being given to the literary world. 



classical ground ; differing only in the names, and other minor cir- 
cumstances of national custom. * 

Among other excursions from Athens, 'we did not neglect the 
celebrated plain of Marathon ; distant about 22 miles from the city, 
on the opposite coast of the peninsula. The distinct memorials 
which are still afforded by the stones, erected where the Athenians 
fell ;— by the outline of the valley, where is now the village of Vranna; 
and by the marshes into which the Persians were precipitated in 
their flight, cannot fail' of being interesting to the observer. It may 
fairly be said of Marathon, that there are few modern fields of 
battle, which better authenticate history, or more- entirely explain the 
events which happened on their surface. • 

In the expedition we made to Marathon, we included the moun- 
tains of P^itelicus ; a lofly groupe, and picturesque in their forms ; 
interesting also ds affording the great quarries of marble, from which 
the Athenians raised their noblest monuments of art. We visited 
these quarries, and penetrated to the extremity of the deep caverns 
which run into the rocks at this place. The highest point in the 
Pentelicus groupe, forms a sugar-loaf* cone, which rises to a great 
height above the level of the sea. These mountains are further in- 
teresting, as they illustrate the geological relations of the marble of 
this district, in its junction with the mica-slate, which lies beneath, 
as a basis to these elevated points- of primitive limestone. The geo- 
logy of Attica at large is extremely interesting, and would probably 
well reward the enquiry of the naturalist, who may have time to give 
his attention to this object, f 

* Another spectacle of a different kind, which I saw for the first time in Athens, was 
the dance of the Dervishes. This strange religious ceremony, which has often been 
described by travellers, is practised here twice each week in the ancient Temple of the 
Winds. It is a singular compound of solemnity, and uncouth fanatical wildness ; which 
in parts may even be thought interesting ; — more firequentiy is disgusting or ridiculous. 

f I cannot here do more than give a few scanty remarks on the mineralogy of t&is* 
district, which possibly, however, may be of s(Hne little avail to future research. 

Almost all the ranges of hill, which traverse Attica, are composed of primitire hm^ 

ATIiENS: 427 

It was reluctantly that we departed from Athens, on our return 
through the Morea to the Ionian Isles. It was now the depth of 

stonei of which that of Pentelicus is perhaps the most perfectly granular, apd cer- 
tainly of the purest whiteness. That of Hymettus is of inferior quality, and for the 
most part of a bludsh or blackish grey colour, traversed also, as it seems, by more 
numerous veins. The rock of the Acropolis, of Anchesmus, and of other eminences 
surrounding Athens, is still of inferior quality, and much worn into caves, vMdi every- 
where exhibit a surface^ strongly tinged with oxide of iron. I have not actually seen 
the marble of Mount Fames, but it probably may resemble that of Icarius and Cory- 
dalus, already aQuded to. 

This marble formation evidently reposes upon one of mica slate^ which appears in 
various places near Athens, and still more remarkably in the Pentelic mountains. The 
strata of slate may be se^ cropping out in some small eminences^ a mile to the west of 
the dty, near the road to the Piraeus. I have observed them again witfao|pt, the walls, on 
the side of Colonos; they became more remarkable in the Pass between the greater 
and lesser Anchesmus, where the road to Marathon passes between rocks of very 
contorted stratification. Vestiges of this mica slate formation will also be found in the 
channel of the Dissus, not for from the Stadium ; the rock in most of these places, how- 
ever, bdng a good deal decomposed. 

On the eastern side of Pentelicus, I traced the mica slate upwards from the monas- 
tery of Mendele, to within 300 yards of the quarries, where the great mass of marble 
appears reposing upon it. 

The general diameter of the strata is hij^y inclined ; in one place where I measured 
the indination, I found it from 50° to 60^. The transition to the marble appears to be 
gradual, and I could not observe anywhere a dedded.line of juncticm. The marble 
near the slate contains much mica, and this is gradually lessened in rising higher up the 
mountain. Even in the marble of the quarries, however, it still appears, and may be 
seen in that of the broken columns of the Parthenon at Athens. I remarked at Pente- 
licus, that the slate, where much mixed with marble, has very fi^uently a greenish colour, 
resembling chlorite. It does -not abound in garnets, though I observed some small 
ones. The same formation of mica slate appears on the other side of the Pentelic 
mountains, extending down to the plains of Marathon ^and the sea. Some serpentine 
also occurs on this coast, as well as on the range of Hymettus. The connection of 
these formations, with those formerly noticed along other parts of the east coast of 
Greece, will at once be observed. 

Some singular appearances occur a litde to the west of Athens, near the xoed to the 
Piraeus, where an eminence of limestone will be seen, with an extraordinary broken 
aspect, and traversed by two or thre^ veins, filled with calcareous matter, which is 


418 £L£USI£L 

winter ; and we could not venture to form any lively anticipations of 
pleai^ure, even from the scenery of the antient Arcadia, through which 
our route lay. The commencement of this winter had been of more 
than common severity, and its progress unfortunately corresponded 
with these early appearances. Our Tartar Osmyn had quitted us 
at Athens, on his return to loannina ; and we now were attended by a 
Janissary, a man of quiet manners, and who proved of very little 
service to our journey. The Morea, however, has of late been so 
much traversed, that such an appendage becomes here less neces- 
sary to those who are already familiar with the usages of Turkish 

We proceeded from Athens to Eleusis by the Sacred Way, passing 
the salt-pools mentioned by Pausanias, which still retain thdr ancient 
qualities. The modern Eleusis is a wretched place, and until lately 
afforded few vestiges of its former magnificence ; but the recent 
laboprs of Sir W. Gell have restored, by excavation, the plan of the 
great temple of Ceres, as well as the PropylaBa,and the smaller temple 
of Diana in the vicinity of it ; — an investigation which afforded many 
interesting results. 

The road fVom Eleusis to Megara conducted us along the woody 
cliffs which border the strait between the mainland and the isle of 
Salamis, a route deriving much picturesque beauty from the broken 
and irregular outline of these shores. We must have passed, in some 
part of our way, the spot where Procrustes is said to have tortured 
his victims ; but I did not observe any thing which could afford a 
local illustration of this story. Passing to the south of the moun- 
tain called Kerata, from its two-peaked summits, we came to the 

tinged by iron of various shades, and contains here and there many quartz fragments. 
On the coast at the Piraeus, there occurs a very recent ccdcareous formation, con- 
taining shells. 

I regret that I had not the opportunity of visiting Laurium, and of examining the 
locks, in which were the ancient mines of this district. 


plain and town of Megara ; the latter distant from Athens about 
twentj-four miles. The very frequent preservation of the ancient 
names in Greece, is a circumstance adding much to the interest the 
traveller feels in this country. In approaching Athens, we had 
passed through Livadia and Thebes ; we now quitted it by the 
route of Eleusis, Megara, Corinth, and Argos ; all these places named 
at present as they were in the most ancient times of Greece* 

Megara contains about 400 houses ; singular from being all flat- 
roofed. I have seen few places in Greece where there are so many 
inscriptions scattered on the ground and in the walls of houses, as in 
this town* On an eminence to the east of the place, are the vestiges 
of an extensive building, among which we found a sepulchral marble, 
with some basso-relievo figures upon it, of eonsiderable merit in the 

Our next stage was to Corinth, distant from Megara about thirty milesv 
The road is one of the greatest interest in its scenery and associ- 
ations, particularly where, having past the Derveni, or guarded pass, 
the travellCT ascends the lofty ridge of mountains, anciently called 
Geranion ; and at their summit finds himself on a pinnacle between 
the Corinthian and Saronic gulphs ; the celebrated Isthmus of Corinth 
lying directly beneath him ; a thousand objects of classical name 
lining the shores of the gulphs, or appearing in the landscape further 
removed from the coast. There are few points in Greece which' 
illustrate at once the history of so many events in past ages. The ridge 
of Geranion is further interesting, as forming, in its position across the 
northern extremity of the Isthmus, the great natural barrier of the Pelo* 
ponnesus, — a barrier which may still perhaps be important at some 
future time, in asserting the liberties of a part of modern* Greece.* 

. * The Geranion mountains, in some places, attain a height of probably not leas than 
2500 feet They are extremely picturesque in their outline, especially near the Corinthian 
gulph, where their descending cliffi form deep semicircular bays, with luxuriant woods 
extending to the winter's edge. The ridge was at this time entirely covered with snow ; but 
from partial appearance, I should suppose that it was a calcareous formation, like'that of 

3 H 2 



From the mountains we descended to the lower and more coiv- 
tracted part of the Isthmus; a heavy storm of snow and sleet mean- 
while falling upon us. The interval between the two seas, little more 
than four miles in extent, is occupied in great part by broken and irre- 
gular ground, in few places exceeding 150 feet in height. The remains 
arc still very distinct of the ancient wall which traversed the Isthmus ; 
and there are probably traces also* of the canal, by which Nero 
intended to connect the two gulphs. The place of the Isthmsean 
Games, and of the temple of Neptune, may very clearly be made 
out. In approaching to Corinth, the view of the citadel, or Aero- 
Corinthos, becomes each moment more remarkable ; an insulated and 
precipitous hill, sufficiently lofty to be seen from Athens, though a 
direct distance of more than forty miles. 

The modem Corinth is a small straggling place, containing about 
500 houses, with two mosques, and an extensive palace, belonging 
to the Turkish governor, A wide and fertile plain stretches before it 
along the shores of the gulph,. covered in part with olive-groves. The